Wearing hearing aids every day can increase earwax production by stimulating the aural canal, while also blocking the natural migration of earwax to the outer ear. This can be uncomfortable, and the buildup can cause whistling as sound bounces off the earwax. If not properly cleaned and maintained, earwax can cause damage to devices over time. This is why regular hearing aid cleanings are essential.
Hearing aids should be cleaned at home daily to prevent damage.
When you first purchased your hearing aids, they may have come with a cleaning kit that included a wax removal brush, soft cloth, wax pick, wire loop and vent cleaner. Make sure you talk to your audiologist about how to use these tools safely and effectively.
It is also a good idea to buy a dehumidifier to store your hearing aids in at night in order to prevent moisture buildup, which can also cause significant damage to the internal electrical components.
How to Clean Your Hearing Aids
Different styles of hearing aids require different types of cleaning. Again, double check with your audiologist to make sure you know how to care for your devices.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids should be cleaned by wiping them with a soft cloth. Remove the earmolds and soak them in warm water once a week. Don’t re-apply them until they are completely dry – ideally, they should sit overnight.
In-the-ear (ITE) devices can be cleaned with brushes and hooks. Hold them facing downward so debris falls out. Pick out excess wax with a hook and dust them with a cloth. Do not expose the devices to water.
When to Take Your Hearing Aids to a Professional
You should never try to take apart your hearing aids or clean the insides of them. The internal electronics are extremely delicate and easily damaged. A professional is trained in caring for and cleaning your devices properly.
About every six months, visit your audiologist for a clean and check of your hearing aids. They’ll deep clean the devices and check to make sure they’re working properly. If you experience any feedback, whistling or muffled/distorted sound, your audiologist can help.
To schedule a visit today, call the experts at Pinnacle ENT Associates.
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