Hearing aids are electronic devices, so they do require some minimal daily maintenance to keep them working properly. There are slight differences in cleaning requirements on Receiver in the canal (RIC) aids and in the ear aids versus behind the ear hearing aids with earmolds.
All types of aids should be kept dry. While most of today’s instruments are water resistant, only a few are rated water proof, so do not swim or shower with the devices. Also store them in a safe dry place. Often people will store their instruments in some type of drying unit which absorbs moisture and helps to keep them working better and longer.
Instruments do require a daily cleaning. I recommend you clean the tip of RIC aids, earmolds on BTE aids and the shell of ITE aids either with a cleaning cloth or tissue. I often recommend you use a tissue dampened with hydrogen peroxide to help remove any wax on the tips as well as remove bacteria.
Hearing instruments with some type of wax trap also require that the trap be changed. Individuals who produce a lot of earwax will need to change it more often than those who don’t.
Behind the ear users will also want to wipe off the actual device with a clean cloth on a regular basis. Users of all three types should also brush off their microphones. Most manufacturers as well as hearing aid providers will supply you with a tool to use.
I also recommend patients bring their instruments in at least 3-4 times a year for a more in depth cleaning. With the use of special tools we can provide a more thorough cleaning of microphones and speakers.
Just like any electronic device, the better you care for it, the longer it will last and the better it will work for you.