Hearing aids serve as reliable companions in our daily lives. However, how long do they actually last? With proper hearing aid care and maintenance, they can last for years. Regularly cleaning the device, replacing damaged or worn components, scheduling periodic professional cleanings, and taking precautions to protect them all can contribute to extending their lifespan.
To protect and extend the lifespan of your hearing aid, it is important to take daily precautions against dirt, heat, humidity, and water. During the summer months, hearing aids are particularly vulnerable to water and heat damage. If the device is waterproof, it should be carefully dried after bathing. However, if it is not waterproof, it is crucial to keep it well protected from any contact with water. In the event that the device gets wet due to sudden rain or contact with wet hands, it should be promptly removed, turned off, and the battery should be taken out. Wipe the device with a clean cloth, gently shaking it to remove any moisture that may have seeped in. It can then be left on a piece of paper or an open surface with the battery compartment exposed for a few hours to dry. When it comes to heat, it is important to never leave the device in direct sunlight, as high temperatures and sunlight can potentially cause damage to the outer shell.
It is important to avoid contact between hearing aids and:
as the substances they contain can potentially damage the devices.
Humidity, although invisible, poses a challenge as it can be difficult to detect. Particularly during summer, as we transition between warm outdoor environments and air-conditioned spaces, the humidity level in the atmosphere increases. This, in turn, leads to increased perspiration on our skin, resulting in more dirt accumulation on our hearing aids. Protecting hearing aids from moisture is relatively simple. When not in use, store them in a cool and dry environment, avoiding placement in areas like bathrooms. Additionally, using specific products designed for dehumidification and drying, such as dehumidifying capsules or special dehumidification boxes, can help safeguard the aids from moisture-related issues.
It is recommended to remove your hearing aid before going to bed, not only for the well-being of your ear but also for the device itself. Resting your ear on a pillow can cause feedback or potential injury. Additionally, removing the device helps prevent unnecessary battery drain when it is not in use (remember to always turn off the device after removal). When taking off the hearing aid, it is important to store it in the appropriate case rather than leaving it in any random location. Establishing a simple routine can be helpful in caring for your hearing aid. For instance, you can follow a few steps each night, such as:
Although this last step may seem trivial, it is crucial to handle the delicate device with care to prevent any potential damage.
Determining the appropriate time to replace your hearing aid batteries, particularly in the early stages of usage, is generally a simple and straightforward process. It is best to replace the batteries when you start noticing a decline in the aid's effectiveness, such as:
While batteries are essential for the device's functionality, they are not the only components that ensure attention to extend the lifespan of hearing aids. Filters and domes are additional components that are essential in maintaining the the hygiene of the hearing aid.
Properly cleaning hearing aids is crucial for extending their lifespan. The necessary tools include:
A clogged filter is often the cause of device malfunction, so it's important to pay attention to this aspect. While the presence of earwax is normal, its accumulation in the device's opening can lead to sound distortion and irritating whistling. Extended contact with earwax can also damage the aid. To clean hearing aids effectively, it's recommended to establish a daily routine:
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Establishing a daily cleaning routine is essential for maintaining hearing aid hygiene, but it is not a substitute for professional maintenance. While a daily cleaning routine helps to keep the devices clean, it is important to seek the expertise of a trusted hearing care professional for thorough and targeted cleaning.
Professional cleaning effectively removes all traces of dirt, including those that may have accumulated on delicate components like microphones and receivers. This meticulous cleaning ensures optimal hearing quality and extends the life of the hearing aids.
Regular hearing checks are crucial even for individuals who wear hearing aids. These assessments serve multiple purposes: they help determine if there is a deterioration in hearing ability and ensure that the current hearing aid is a good fit for the individual's specific hearing needs. Periodic hearing and hearing aid checks are the initial measures to maintain optimal hearing.