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Working with hearing loss - a guide to maintaining your hearing aids

Hearing aid maintenance – information for wearers

Hearing devices can help you to communicate and function in the workplace. This information will help you to look after your hearing aids. You may have one or two hearings aids to look after. This information is for hearing aids as distinct from other devices (such as cochlear implants).

How do I make the most of my hearing aids?

As the wearer of hearing aids there are some things you should do.

These include:

  • getting to know your hearing aids and how to use them. Ask your hearing service provider:
    • to explain how to use your aids
    • for extra support like communication tips to help make the most of your hearing experience
    • when to get replacement accessories (eg damaged filters, split tubing)
    • how to order batteries.
  • caring for the hearing aids with daily, weekly and yearly cleaning and checks of:
    • the ear mould/earpiece
    • the tubing and vent
    • the microphone and receiver (where sound enters the hearing aid)
    • the speaker (where amplified sound is delivered to your ear)
    • the battery.
  • following these tips when cleaning and checking your aids:
    • make sure your hands are clean and dry
    • use the cleaning kit provided with your hearing aid and don’t improvise
    • use a clean tissue or special microfibre cleaning cloth or alcohol wipe (only if this is ok for your mould). Make sure the cloth is washed regularly so that dirt is not put back onto your hearing aid.
  • changing or charging batteries when required
    • always carry spare batteries
    • always have the charger easily accessible.
  • taking your hearing aid to your hearing service provider for tuning or repair of electronic systems
  • contacting your hearing service provider if:
    • you notice a change with your hearing or your hearing gets worse
    • your hearing aids are not working well for you
    • anything breaks or needs changing (e.g. filters, tubing, or other damaged parts)
    • you lose a part
    • you need new batteries.

What can damage my hearing aides and how can I avoid this?

Hearing aids can be damaged by:

  • water
  • chemicals
  • extreme heat
  • moist or humid environments
  • attempting repairs to the electronic systems by a non-expert.

Take the following steps to keep your hearing aids in good working order:

  • don’t wear them when swimming, showering or in any wet environment. Wear a hat if it’s raining
  • take them out and put them in their case when going to the beach, swimming in the pool or going to the hairdresser
  • take them out (or take extra care) when applying products that have chemicals such as hair products, aftershave, insect repellent, sunscreen
  • keep them away from cleaning liquids and solvents at home and at work
  • avoid putting them in extreme heat such as the sun, oven or heater. Don’t leave them in the car
  • only use a dehumidifier (supplied by your hearing service provider) to dry your aid out. Do not dry in an oven, microwave or with a hairdryer
  • only allow the hearing service provider to tune or repair electronic systems (as they are made up of internal electronics and external interfaces).

What routine should I follow to keep my hearing aids working the best?

Daily Routines

Morning

  • Check the earpiece for any wax or build up. Use a clean tissue or special microfibre cleaning cloth to wipe it away
  • Check the microphone and receiver for any wax or debris build up. Use the cleaning brush from your hearing aid kit to remove it brushing downwards and way from the microphones
  • Check any tubing and vent for signs of water, clouding, hardening or damage. Use a vent cleaner from your hearing aid kit (or hearing service provider) to clear out the tube and vent.

Evening

  • Remove your hearing aids and open the battery doors to disconnect the battery
  • Keep the aids in the case to avoid loss or damage
  • Place rechargeable aids in the charger overnight so that battery will be at full charge the next day
  • Use a dehumidifier to safely dry out the aids overnight when working or living in a moist or humid environment. You can also use this if your aids accidentally become wet.
Weekly Routines

Each week your hearing aids may need extra cleaning:

  • the outside of the hearing aids may need to be cleaned with a wax pick or wire loop (supplied by hearing service provider) to gently remove any build up. Be careful around the microphone and receiver ports
  • not all hearing aids are the same and each style of aid requires specific cleaning. For assistance on this, be guided by your hearing service provider.
Yearly routines

It is wise to have your hearing aids checked by your hearing service provider at least annually for minor ‘tune ups’ and/or program alterations to match any changes occurring in your hearing ability or hearing needs.

In the meantime, make sure you contact your hearing service provider if:

  • you notice a change in your hearing or your hearing gets worse
  • your hearing aids are not working well for you
  • anything breaks or needs changing (e.g. filters, tubing, or other damaged parts)
  • you lose a part
  • you need new batteries.

Battery talk

The best hearing aid batteries are bought from a hearing service provider.  Make sure you take care of hearing aid batteries for safety and best use.

Battery fast facts:

  • most hearing aids require zinc air ‘button’ batteries to work, but some hearing aids are rechargeable
  • each battery has a tab on the back which seals the air holes in the battery. Only remove this when you are placing the battery into your hearing aid
  • hearing aid batteries are very small and can be dangerous to children and pets as they are easily swallowed.  Keep them in a safe place
  • unused hearing aid batteries last for two years when stored correctly
  • the best storage temperature for hearing aid batteries is between 10֯C and 25֯C. DO NOT put them in the refrigerator or near heat
  • contact with metal objects such as coins or keys can cause batteries to short circuit. DO NOT carry loose batteries in your wallet or purse
  • battery life varies with hearing aids. Know how long they last in your aids (e.g. Bluetooth streaming uses more power and can shorten battery life). Change or charge batteries when required and always carry spares or your charger easily accessible.