Extending the Life of Your Hearing Aids
Murphy’s Law informs us that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” A better variation might be that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”
That’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, switch out the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re attempting to protect our investment and stretch its life.
You should think of hearing aids in the same manner. If you give things a chance to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your care and maintenance, your hearing aids can persist and function properly for several years.
So what are some of the things that can go wrong? Below are the three principal threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to safeguard against them.
1. Physical breakdown
Opponent # 1 is physical damage. Hearing aids contain sensitive electronics that are prone to damage from shock. To protect against this, be sure you store your hearing aids in their storage cases whenever you’re not using them.
An effective rule of thumb is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at all times. Leaving your hearing aids exposed on any surface is just inviting Murphy’s Law to come and bump them off. Likewise, when you’re putting in and removing your hearing aids, it’s a good idea to do this over a soft surface in the event they fall.
In addition, take the time to check and replace the batteries frequently. You’re not doing the electronics any favors by forcing the hearing aids operate on low battery power.
Electronic devices and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a mobile phone in the kitchen sink knows all too well. Once submerged, there’s very little that can be done. But it requires a lot less than complete submersion in water to wreck your hearing aids.
Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and start wreaking chaos. Because of this, you should avoid using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. In addition, keep in mind that radical changes in temperature can create condensation, for instance going from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, make sure to dry off any moisture that develops.
We also suggest not storing your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can create problems. This is an additional reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the best location to keep your hearing aids when not in use.
3. Earwax and dirt
Even if you’ve safeguarded your hearing aids against physical damage and water with proper storage and the prevention of moisture, you’ll still have to protect against adversary # 3: dirt and grime.
Earwax, dirt, and debris can build up on the hearing aids, blocking the speakers, ports, and other components. To protect against this, 1) sustain proper ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids daily.
In terms of cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the tools supplied by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can provide cleaning kits and directions specifically for your type of hearing aids.
And finally, think about acquiring a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers make use of ultraviolet light to thoroughly kill pathogens, all while supplying a safe place for storage.