Your hearing aid was clear as a bell when you first brought it home, but over time it’s started to sound quieter and quieter. The device might be clogged (after all, it’s in your ear all day, every day), so fixing it should just be a matter of taking it apart and giving it a thorough cleaning, right?
STOP! Before you attempt to clean your hearing device yourself, you should know that these devices are often broken by wearers attempting at-home quick fixes. However, with a few simple tips, you can perform safe and effective cleaning methods without risking further damage to your hearing aid.
How to Clean Most Hearing Aid Models
The first step to properly cleaning a hearing aid is to use the correct tools. Many hearing aids come with specialized utensils that can remove earwax without damaging the casing and components of the device, including:
- Cleaning brush. These small brushes have soft tips to gently remove wax from the body, faceplate, and sounds port of a hearing device.
- Wax pick, hook, and wire loop. These tools are designed to remove wax, hair, and debris from the ports, casing, and holes in the hearing aid.
- Multi-tool. A multi-tool contains a brush, pick, hook, and loop in one easy-to-handle implement, and may have a magnetic end to help remove hearing aid batteries quickly.
Next, the way you clean your hearing aid will depend on the type of device you have. For behind-the-ear models, you should clean the device before you go to bed at night, and clean the electronics and tubing separately. Unhook the tubing from the device, clean it with warm soapy water, and leave the tubing to dry overnight. Check the casing for anything that could be interrupting sound, and remove earwax or debris with the wax pick.
For an in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid, you should focus on cleaning out the holes in the device and the microphone ports. Earwax can become lodged in the microphone or receiver, creating feedback or blocking sound altogether. Use the brush to gently remove debris from the openings while holding the device firmly. When this is done, use the wax pick or loop to clear the inner holes. Finally, wipe down the entire device with a tissue or dry cloth to remove any leftover dirt or oils.
Let Our Professionals Clean Your Hearing Aid for You!
While at-home cleaning can greatly extend the life of your device, hearing aids should be professionally cleaned at least once or twice per year. Hearing specialists have an array of specialized tools to perform deep-cleaning, and can replace worn wax filters and screens to further improve sound output. Call or visit us today to have our hearing care providers inspect and restore your device.