Murphy’s Law informs us that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” A better variation might be that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”
That’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, replace the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re aiming to protect our investment and increase its life.
You should think of hearing aids in the same way. If you give things an opportunity to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your maintenance, your hearing aids can carry on and perform properly for years.
So what are the things that can go wrong? Below are the three principal threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to defend against them.
1. Physical damage
Opponent # 1 is physical destruction. Hearing aids consist of delicate electronics that are susceptible to damage from shock. To protect against this, make sure to store your hearing aids in their storage cases whenever you’re not using them.
A good guideline is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at any given time. Leaving your hearing aids unprotected on any surface is just asking for Murphy’s Law to come and knock them off. Similarly, when you’re inserting and removing your hearing aids, it’s best to do this over a soft surface in the event that they fall.
In addition, remember to check and replace the batteries often. You’re not doing the electronics any favors by forcing the hearing aids operate on low battery power.
Electronic devices and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a cell phone in the sink understands all too well. Once submerged, there’s little that can be done. But it takes a lot less than total submersion in water to wreck your hearing aids.
Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and begin wreaking havoc. As a result, you should refrain from using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. Additionally, remember that extreme changes in temperature can generate condensation, for instance going from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, make sure to dry off any moisture that develops.
We also highly recommend not keeping your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can create problems. This is yet another reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the ideal location to store your hearing aids when not in use.
3. Earwax and dirt
Even if you’ve guarded your hearing aids against physical damage and water with appropriate storage and the prevention of moisture, you’ll still need to protect against enemy # 3: dirt and grime.
Earwax, dust, and debris can accumulate on the hearing aids, blocking the speakers, ports, and other components. To protect against this, 1) sustain proper ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids every day.
In regard to cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the tools supplied by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can supply cleaning kits and guidance specifically for your type of hearing aids.
Finally, consider investing in a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers utilize ultraviolet light to thoroughly kill pathogens, all while providing a safe place for storage.