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Tips on how to clean hearing aids

Hearing aids are vital for millions of people worldwide, enhancing the quality of life by improving hearing. To maintain their effectiveness, it’s crucial to keep them clean and in good working condition. As there are so many different kinds of hearing aid, you may find yourself wondering how best to clean your personal model. Read on to find out the methods for how to clean hearing aids bespoke to your model type.

How to clean Hearing Aids

Whether you’re a new user or have been using hearing aids for years, understanding the proper maintenance for your specific model can extend its lifespan and ensure optimal performance. 

 

The methods listed below are suitable for all hearing aids of a matching type from a range of different manufacturers.

Receiver In Canal (RIC) Hearing Aids

RIC hearing aids have the speaker located inside the ear canal while the rest of the device sits behind the ear. This design allows for a smaller, less visible behind-the-ear component.

Tools you will need:

 

  • Cloth
  • Brush
  • Wax guard
  • Drying beaker

 

We recommend cleaning your hearing aid at the end of each day. 

 

  • Check your hearing aid for wax or dirt
  • Use a dry cloth and brush to remove any wax and dirt from your hearing aid
  • If you still see wax on the speaker, you can change the wax guard.
  • Pull the dome off the speaker
  • Use the exchange tool to change the wax guard
  • Turn the tool around to insert the new wax guard into the speaker
  • Replace the dome carefully.
  • Take the battery out and dry your hearing aid
  • Use the drying beaker overnight to extract any moisture

Earmold Hearing Aids

These hearing aids have a custom-moulded component that fits inside the ear, making them suitable for various levels of hearing loss. They are particularly effective for severe hearing loss.

 

Tools you will need:

 

  • Cloth
  • Brush
  • Vent cleaner
  • Cleaning wire loop
  • Drying beaker
  • Air puffer
  • Cleansing beaker and tablet

 

The step-by-step

 

  • Check your hearing aid for wax or dirt
  • Use a dry cloth and brush to remove wax and dirt
  • Use the cleansing wire loop to remove wax and dirt from the tip of the ear mould
  • Insert the vent cleaner through the vent to remove wax and dirt
  • Wash your earmould occasionally
  • Remove the earmould off the hearing aid
  • Pour water into the cleansing beaker and insert cleansing tablet
  • Place earmould into sieve and insert into the cleansing beaker
  • Wait 15 – 30 minutes
  • Rinse the earmould underwater
  • Dry it with a tissue or cloth
  • Use the air puffer to remove moisture
  • Reattach the tube to the hearing aid by pushing it back on the earhook
  • Take the battery out to dry your hearing aid
  • Use the drying beaker overnight to extract moisture

Having problems with your hearing aid?

If you encounter any problems with your hearing aids or it’s time for your annual check-up, book an appointment with Pindrop Hearing. Our experts are dedicated to ensuring your hearing aids function perfectly, tailoring our services to meet your specific needs.

Book appointment →

Slim Tube Hearing Aids

These are similar to RIC aids but feature a very thin tube connecting the earpiece to the device, making them almost invisible behind the ear.

 

Tools you will need:

 

  • Cloth
  • Brush
  • Cleaning wire
  • Drying beaker

 

The step-by-step

 

  • Check your hearing aid for wax or dirt
  • Use a dry cloth and brush to remove wax and dirt
  • If you see wax in the tube, use the cleansing wire
  • Turn anticlockwise to detach it
  • Insert and push the cleansing wire through the entire tube
  • Reattach the tube by turning it clockwise
  • Take the battery out to dry your hearing aid
  • Use the drying beaker overnight to extract moisture

Custom Hearing Aids

Custom hearing aids are designed to fit entirely within the ear or ear canal, providing a discreet look. These are tailored to fit the unique contours of your ear.

 

Tools you will need:

 

  • Cloth
  • Brush
  • Vent cleaner
  • Wax guard
  • Drying beaker

 

The step-by-step

  • Check your hearing aid for wax or dirt
  • Use a dry cloth and brush to remove wax and dirt
  • Insert the vent cleaner through the vent to remove wax and dirt
  • If the earwax protector looks dirty, exchange it
  • Use the exchange tool to change the wax guard
  • Turn the tool around to insert the new wax guard into the speaker
  • Take the battery out to dry your hearing aid
  • Use the drying beaker overnight to extra any moisture

General Tips

Our audiologist performing a hearing test on patient at Pindrop Hearing in London

 

  • Daily Cleaning: Clean your hearing aids at the end of each day to remove earwax, dust, and moisture.
  • Tools Needed: Typically, you will need a soft cloth, a small brush, and a wax guard replacement kit.
  • Moisture Control: Use a drying beaker or a dehumidifier box overnight to remove moisture.

Need a tutorial?

To make this easy for you we have collated a series of helpful videos from Phonak, one of the UK’s leading hearing aid manufacturers.

Take a look →

Troubleshooting Tips: Common issues and how to solve them

Even with regular maintenance, you may occasionally encounter issues with your hearing aids. Here are some common problems and how to effectively solve them:

 

  1. Hearing Aid Not Working
  • Check the battery: Ensure the battery is inserted correctly and that it still has a charge. Replace if necessary.
  • Inspect for blockages: Check the microphone and sound outlet for any debris or wax blockage. Clean gently as needed.
  • Power cycle: Turn the hearing aid off and then back on to reset its settings.

 

  1. Sound Quality Issues
  • Adjust volume and settings: Use your hearing aid’s app or controls to adjust the settings. Sometimes, improper settings can cause sound quality issues.
  • Clean the receiver: Dirt or earwax can block the sound path. Clean the receiver gently using the appropriate tools.
  • Consult with a professional: If the sound continues to be distorted or unclear, the internal components may need professional attention.

 

  1. Feedback or Whistling
  • Reposition the hearing aid: Ensure the hearing aid fits snugly in your ear. Poor fitting can cause feedback.
  • Check for earwax in your ear: Excessive earwax can also lead to feedback. Consider having your ears checked and cleaned if necessary.
  • Inspect for damage: Cracks or holes in the tubing or earmold can cause feedback. If you find any damage, contact your hearing aid provider for repairs.

 

  1. Hearing Aid Feels Uncomfortable
  • Adjust the fit: If your hearing aid feels uncomfortable, it might not be fitted correctly. Try adjusting its position or consult with your audiologist for a better fit.
  • Check for irritation: If your ear feels sore or irritated, give it a break from the hearing aid and consult your audiologist. You might need a different style or a custom fit.

 

  1. Hearing Aid Turns Off Unexpectedly
  • Battery check: Regularly check if the battery needs replacement.
  • Moisture problem: Moisture can cause hearing aids to malfunction. Use a drying kit nightly to help prevent moisture buildup.
  • Contact support: If your hearing aid frequently turns off without explanation and troubleshooting doesn’t help, it might require professional repair.

Frequently asked questions

Our audiologist chatting with patient and passing them a hearing aid

How often should I replace the wax guard on my hearing aids?

The frequency of changing the wax guard depends on your level of earwax production. Generally, it’s recommended to check and possibly change it once a month, but if you produce a lot of earwax, you might need to change it more frequently.

What is the best way to store my hearing aids when I’m not wearing them?

When not in use, store your hearing aids in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight and heat. It’s advisable to use a drying container or a dehumidifier box overnight to keep them free from moisture and prolong their functionality.

Are there any specific products I should avoid using near my hearing aids?

Yes, avoid using hairspray, perfume, or other aerosols when wearing your hearing aids. 

How do I know if my hearing aids need professional servicing?

If you notice changes in the performance of your hearing aids, such as distorted sound, reduced volume, or frequent feedback noises, it might be time for professional servicing. Also, if you are unable to resolve issues with routine cleaning, consult a professional.

Taking proper care of your hearing aids not only extends their life but also ensures they can provide the maximum benefit. Regular cleaning, along with professional maintenance, will help you achieve the best hearing experience. 

 

Get in touch today to book your appointment.

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