Before answering this question, it is necessary to clearly understand that hearing aids are complex medical devices consisting of various electronic components. Digital devices consist of the following elements:
- Microphone. It accepts external sounds
- Amplifier. Its task is to process and amplify incoming sounds
- Receiver. It sends the converted sounds to the ear
- Battery compartment. Today, more and more often, hearing aids use rechargeable batteries. However, there are still popular models with replaceable batteries
- Earmold. The component is typical for some models (BTE, RIC)
These are just the basic elements of hearing aid! These devices are much more complicated than, for example, musical headphones or hearing amplifiers.
Like any complex electronic device, a hearing aid is subject to the negative effects of external factors, which are aggravated by improper operation. The situation is complicated by frequent use. People with hearing loss use hearing aids every day from waking up to sleeping. On average, more than half a day every day! Such a high load quickly reduces the safety margin of the components. But still, hearing aids have a sufficient operational reserve. Depending on the manufacturer and the specific model, the service life varies from 3 to 5 years. The main thing is a careful attitude to devices and compliance with the recommendations of hearing care professionals.
Weekly care of devices is the key to their long service life!
A person with hearing loss uses hearing aids every day during daytime activity, so they are exposed to serious environmental influences. First of all, moisture and dust are dangerous for hearing aids, as well as for any electronic device. Do not forget about the traces of vital activity of the body, we are talking about sweat and earwax. Sweat, as well as moisture, can disable medical devices. Earwax clogs earplugs and other elements, reducing the sharpness of sounds.
Be sure to clean the hearing aids to avoid problems because of accumulated dust, dirt, or earwax. Audiologists recommend cleaning devices at least once a week. If necessary, you can clean them more often. The main thing is to follow the instructions and advice of hearing care professionals. After all, hearing aids are medical devices, which means they require appropriate care.
Where should I start? Do not start cleaning the devices yourself if you are using hearing aids for the first time. It is better to ask the attending audiologist to show you how to clean your model. The specialist will show which components of the devices should be cleaned and how not to damage them.
- Don’t use water or other cleaning products to remove dirt/dust from the devices. They can cause harm! It is better to use special napkins.
- For deep cleaning, you will need hearing aid cleaning supplies. These are special brushes and loops, which help to get to difficult places and remove dirt or earwax.
- Some components of hearing aids require replacement due to their wear or contamination. First of all, these are earplugs, batteries, and other consumables.
Thus, you should always have hearing aid cleaning supplies and the necessary consumables at hand to clean the devices in time and replace the necessary components. You’ll find everything you need in the hearing aid store. Make a small supply of consumables in advance so that in case of an unforeseen situation you will not be left alone with non-working hearing aids.
Rules for the care of medical devices
Proper weekly cleaning of hearing aids is a good habit. However, it is not enough to extend their service life. There are several rules and restrictions. Try to follow all the recommendations of specialists if you care about your device.
To get started, carefully read the user manual after purchasing the devices. Each manufacturer describes in detail the nuances of using hearing aids and issues related to their operation. In addition, you should follow the generally accepted recommendations from hearing care professionals. Tips and recommendations are compiled for a reason. These tips help to extend the service life of hearing aids. Let’s look at the set of rules in more detail.
What should I do?
Protect your devices from their main enemy – moisture (and sweat). Do not forget to take off your hearing aids before water procedures (shower, pool, etc.). If you still wet it, put it in a special hearing aid dryer as soon as possible, or use a container and tablets to dry hearing aids. It is strictly forbidden to dry the devices with a hairdryer, on a battery, or in any other similar way! In such a way you’ll damage the electronic components of the devices!
Use batteries that match your model. For the batteries to work correctly, after removing the packaging, wait 2-3 minutes and only then insert it into the battery compartment.
Develop the habit of turning off the hearing aids immediately after removal. If you are not going to use it for a long time (from a day or more), remove the battery.
Do not forget to remove your hearing aids before a medical examination. X-rays and other irradiations disable electronic devices. Remove your devices in advance and put them in a hearing aid case if you are undergoing tomography, fluorography, and other examinations.
What can’t be done?
Do not allow the hearing aids to overheat. Do not leave the devices in the car under the sunlight. Such temperature changes are detrimental to devices.
Do not attempt to repair and disassemble hearing aids yourself. Medical devices have many small parts that you can damage. It is better to contact an authorized service center. Only a specialist can find the cause of the breakdown and carry out repairs. You’ll only harm them.
Do not store hearing aids in places accessible to children and pets. This is dangerous for both devices and children. While playing, children can drop devices and damage them. Pets are happy to gnaw the case. The batteries are small. If children or a pet swallows them, it can cause severe damage to health. Such a situation could threaten their lives! Take care of choosing the right storage location in advance.
The recommendations are simple, aren’t they? Compliance with the recommendations will significantly extend the service life of hearing aids. Enjoy an amazing palette of sounds and the voices of your loved ones!