Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013

Hearing Aid Care

Couple on bikes consider hearing aid care.

Making sure your hearing aids are protected from sand and water is one of the best ways to ensure a hassle-free summer. Although many of today's hearing aids have some level of water-resistant properties, there are steps necessary to care for hearing aids that will keep these valuable technologies in top shape.

Moisture, bacteria, and earwax can all damage hearing aids. In order to care for hearing aids and keep them in the best care it is important to invest a little time to properly clean them, especially during the active summer months.

Moisture: Using a gentle soft, dry cloth or tissue to wipe the outside of the hearing aid daily keeps it free of excess moisture and can also help with wax. Still, you can't always reach every part of your hearing aid. There are many delicate and tiny parts inside hearing aid as well, and since moisture is insidious, a good way to make sure these delicate parts keep dry is by investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier box. A hearing aid dehumidifier is compact enough to stick in your suitcase when traveling and can be purchased from most audiologist or in local pharmacies. Other inexpensive but good investments for defeating moisture are a waterproof hat or an umbrella along with a Dri-aid kit. For BTE hearing aids a Hearing Aid Sweat Band can help when mowing the lawn or exercising outdoors. This product helps to absorb moisture--just like a traditional one used for head or wrists. Note: Be cautious when applying sunscreen on the face or around the ears--this can clog the instruments and lead to costly repairs.
Antimicrobrial Products Like most things, hearing aids can attract bacteria and other microbes, think fungi, especially during humid summer months. Using antimicrobrial products can help. These products can be applied to the hearing aids every few days to aid in killing off infection causing microbes.
Brush: Hearing aids require a good hearing aid tool or brush to remove wax from the hearing aid speaker and microphone screens. Often this brush accompanies a hearing aid purchase, but if you need one ask your audiologist. It’s good to use this tool more often, twice daily, during summer months to help avoid the itching and discomfort excess sweat and moisture can cause.
Air: In addition to using the dehumidifier, there are "puffers" available that blow small amounts of air through a hearing aid or through hearing aid tubing and moldings to keep them clean and obstruction free. These can be purchased from an audiologist or from a pharmacy. Note: Another tip to remember is to keep the battery compartment door open at night when the hearing aid is not in use or or in the dehumidifier.
Tubing: BTE hearing aids use a tube that connects from the inner ear piece to the outer shell of the hearing aid. Removing and replacing this piece regularly helps avoid obstructions, and people often find these tubes need to be replaced or cleaned more during the hot summer months. Asking your audiologist for extra tubing before the summer or before you travel will ward off unforeseen complications.
Audiologist: If you are unsure how to clean your hearing aid before you set sail or jet off or hop in the RV, or if these suggestions make you cringe with worry, talk to your audiologist about getting your hearing aids professionally cleaned and maintained this summer.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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