How to Clean Hearing Aids

With the price tag that often comes with hearing aids, it’s important that you take the time to maintain them. This will help prolong the longevity of their life and keep them operating at their best.

Understandably, learning how to clean your hearing aids is rarely the first lesson you attempt to tackle upon receiving said hearing aids. However, having to buy a new hearing aid before necessary is definitely something to avoid.

Let’s look at how hearing aids are built and the best way to clean them.

The Anatomy of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are, unfortunately, not cheap. In Ontario, for example, hearing aids can range between $1000 and $3400 per ear- and that’s after OHIP coverage.

So why are they so expensive?

Let’s explore the makeup of them.

There are three different styles of hearing aids:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE)
  • In-the-ear (ITE)
  • Canal

Despite their being different styles, they all consist of three major components: a microphone, an amplifier, and a speaker. Simply put, the sound is picked up by the microphone, which travels to the amplifier, which then increases the volume and sends it to the speaker, which is in the ear.

When you consider the fact that these hearing aids are also digital and customized to each wearer, it begins to make sense why hearing aids are a bit more expensive.

Clean Your Hearing Aids Daily

A good habit to get into for cleaning your hearing aids is to do it once a day when you take them out for the night. This regular maintenance will help prevent a build-up of earwax and debris, and that way, they’ll be in peak condition every day.

A quick cleaning of your aids can consist of wiping them down with a soft, dry cloth and letting them air out overnight. You can also open the hearing aid battery door and leave it open overnight to allow it to dry.

A More Thorough Cleaning

It’s important to note that you should never submerge your hearing aids in water or cleaning solutions of any kind (unless otherwise specified). Hearing aids are digital devices and contain zinc-air batteries so complete submersion can cause severe damage.

Instead, use a soft cloth or cleaning brush to rub off any earwax or debris on your hearing aids.

If the earmold in your BTE hearing aid has a speaker:

  • Clean the ventilation opening with a cleaning brush
  • If you have the silicone dome on the end of your aid, ensure you replace it every two to four weeks
  • Replace your wax filter. Take the time to clean out any debris while the filter is out

If the earmold in your BTE hearing aid doesn’t have a speaker:

  • Remove the earmold from the hook
  • Wash your earmold in soapy warm water. It’s best that you do this step at least once a week, to prevent odour or discolouring
  • Leave the earmold to dry overnight

If you have an ITE hearing aid:

  • Use your cleaning tool to remove any earwax or debris that’s made its way into the smaller holes and openings
  • Replace your wax filter. Take the time to clean out any debris while the filter is out

Extra Tip

Try cleaning your hearing aids over a soft surface so on the off chance you drop them during the process, they won’t be damaged.

Hearing clinics or audiologists are always great resources to turn to in regards to your hearing aids and other auditory concerns. It can be a steep learning curve when you first get them, so don’t be afraid to ask questions!

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