December 29, 2009

Ask the Audiologist

margaretBy Margaret Christiansen, AU.D, CCC-A
Audiology Consultants, P.C.

What is the best way to clean my hearing aids?

Hearing aids require frequent cleaning. In fact, it is recommended that hearing aids be cleaned on a daily basis. It is best to get in the habit of cleaning your hearing aids at the end of the day when you take your hearing aids out. The ear wax on the hearing aid will be soft and easiest to remove at this time.

Cleaning procedures may vary slightly between different styles of hearing aids. Regardless of hearing aid style, the first step is to wipe it down using a soft cloth or lotion-free tissue to remove any wax from the surface. Never use water to clean hearing aids as they are very sensitive to moisture.

If you are wearing an in-the-ear or behind the ear hearing aid, your audiologist may have supplied you with a cleaning tool equipped with a wire loop on the end. This tool can be gently used to remove wax from the sound port on the end of the hearing aid or earmold. A soft brush, such as a soft bristled tooth-brush, can be used across the microphone port to brush away build up such as dirt and dust.

While the above cleaning procedure helps to remove visible wax and debris from the hearing aid and/or earmold, it does not kill bacteria growing on your hearing aids. It is recommended that hearing aids be disinfected on a daily basis. This kills bacteria on the surface of the hearing aid and helps to prevent infection, itching and odor. Disinfection of hearing aids can be done in one of two ways: the use of a Dry & Store box or the use of hearing aid disinfectant wipes.

The use of a Dry & Store box is an easy and effective way to disinfect hearing aids with the added benefit of reducing moisture-related hearing aid problems. This is an electronic box that the hearing aids go in every night. It runs the hearing aids through a 6-8 hour cycle of pulling moisture from the hearing aids as well as disinfecting.

Disinfectant wipes, such as Audiowipes, can also be used for hearing aid disinfection. These towelettes can be used to wipe down the surface of the hearing aid or earmold. The wipes are made with cleaning agents that are safe for use on hearing aids. Do not use alcohol as this can
quickly cause damage to the shell of the hearing aid.

Proper cleaning of your hearing aids is an important step in maintaining the function of your hearing aids and the health of your ears. If you have questions about the cleaning of your hearing aids, ask your audiologist for a demonstration. They can also help you select a cleaning method that is best suited for you.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trackback URL: