5 ways to lengthen the life of your hearing aid
Buying hearing aids is a big decision. Once you decide to purchase devices to improve not only your communication but add to your enjoyment of life, you want to make sure they last a long time. The life-expectancy of good quality, advanced technology hearing aids is between three to seven years. There are factors that will impact on how long your hearing aids will last. Let’s look at ways you can lengthen the lifespan of your hearing devices.
- Clean your hearing aids daily – your devices are exposed to dust, wax, moisture sweat and skin oils every time you put them on. They will also be subjected to harsh sunlight (especially in Australia) and other weather conditions. When you receive your hearing aids your clinician will have shown you how to clean them – including how to change the wax filter when it gets blocked. If you’ve forgotten how to do any of the cleaning processes required you can either go back to your hearing clinic and ask for a refresher, check your hearing aid user’s manual or, if you use a smartphone app with your hearing aid, check to see if there are any helpful videos on cleaning your device in the app.
- Professional detailing of your hearing aids – apart from daily cleaning, you should also get your hearing aids cleaned professionally a couple of times a year. Take your hearing aids into the clinic and ask your clinician to thoroughly check and clean them. This may take up to half an hour for a detailed clean. All components of the aid will be checked for wax and dead skin cells. Simple procedures – like cleaning the battery contacts and replacing tubing can be completed quickly. But if your hearing aids needs minor maintenance carried out – like replacing battery doors, microphone covers or external speakers, the detailing may take a while.
- Changing your earmould/dome – the type of ear coupling device you have (for RIC & BTE hearing aids) will have an impact on life expectancy of your hearing aid. Domes need to be changed or updated regularly. If you are having difficulties with keeping your hearing aid in, annoying whistling or simple comfort, discuss with your clinician the possibility of changing from domes to a custom ear mould. Sometimes an ‘easy to fit’ dome may not be working for you and trying a different type of ear coupling system could increase the life expectancy of your hearing aids. Having an impression taken for a custom earmould can help with retention, comfort and feedback. It also gives better amplification options for your specific hearing prescription.
- Keep your hearing aid dry – it’s very important to protect the computerised components of your devices. Most good quality hearing aids have some moisture-repellent technology but oil and sweat from your skin, as well as humidity in the air can impact the workings of your hearing aids’ components – including the microphones. Excess moisture can also cause corrosion, particularly in the battery housing. Some rechargeable hearing aids have desiccant capsules in the recharging case which is great. Other hearing clinics will provide you with a dehumidifier when you purchase your hearing aid. If you haven’t got one – invest in one now as this will increase the lifespan of your hearing aids
- Store your hearing aids correctly – there are a number of factors to consider when storing your hearing aids, whether it be overnight or for an extended period. You should have a hearing aid case (whether you have a rechargeable device or not) and you should place your hearing aids in this case each night. If you use disposable batteries, open the battery door before you close the case lid. For best results, remove the batteries each night. If you’re going to store the batteries for a longer period, you definitely need to remove the batteries to avoid corrosion. You know that a dehumidifier is a good idea, so if you have one, store your hearing aids in one of these each night.
So that’s five simple steps to increase the life expectancy of your hearing aids. But did you know that hearing aids can lengthen your life? Look to Eavesdrop’s next issue to find out how.