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 trying to preserve our investment and prolong its life.
You should consider hearing aids in the same manner. If you give things a chance to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your care and maintenance, your hearing aids can endure and operate properly for many years.
So what are some of the things that can go wrong? Here are the three primary threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to protect against them.
1. Physical damage
Enemy # 1 is physical damage. Hearing aids contain delicate electronics that are prone to damage from shock. To protect against this, make certain to store your hearing aids in their storage cases whenever you’re not wearing them.
An effective rule of thumb is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at any given time. Setting your hearing aids exposed on any surface is just inviting Murphy’s Law to come and shove them off. Similarly, when you’re inserting or removing your hearing aids, it’s a good idea to do this over a soft surface in case they fall.
Additionally, take the time to check and replace the batteries often. You’re not doing the circuitry any favors by having the hearing aids function on low battery power.
Electronic devices and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a mobile phone in the sink knows all too well. Once underwater, there’s little that can be done. But it requires much less than complete submersion in water to harm your hearing aids.
Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and begin wreaking havoc. For this reason, you should avoid using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. Also, remember that radical changes in temperature can generate condensation, for example going from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, ensure that you dry off any wetness that develops.
We also highly recommend not storing your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can generate problems. This is an additional reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the best spot to store your hearing aids when they aren’t being used.
3. Earwax and dirt
Even if you’ve guarded your hearing aids against physical destruction and water with adequate storage and the prevention of moisture, you’ll still have to protect against enemy # 3: dirt and grime.
Earwax, dust, and debris can build up on the hearing aids, blocking the speakers, ports, and other parts. To guard against this, 1) maintain proper ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids on a daily basis.
Concerning cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the equipment provided by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can provide cleaning kits and guidance specifically for your type of hearing aids.
And finally, consider investing in a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers utilize ultraviolet light to comprehensively kill dangerous pathogens, all while providing a safe place for storage.