Hearing aids are essential medical devices that connect you to the world around you. Like all electronic devices, they can malfunction if not properly cared for. But unlike most devices, hearing aids are subjected to the rugged environment of your ear, including oils from your skin and hair, dirt and, of course, earwax.
Daily cleaning is necessary in order to remove earwax and keep your devices in good working order.
What Exactly Is Earwax?
Earwax is that yellow, waxy substance naturally produced in the outer ear. Known medically as cerumen, earwax plays a number of helpful roles, including keeping the skin of your ear lubricated and preventing dirt, dust and debris from entering your ear.
The ears are normally self-cleaning, as old earwax works itself out of your ear through natural jaw movements. However, if something is preventing the earwax from falling out, like a hearing aid, it can form a blockage, which sometimes needs to be removed by a professional.
When your devices are not properly cleaned, earwax can make sounds seem weak or distorted, or even block sounds all together. This can be a major problem when trying to converse with a friend at Pilot.
Below is a guide for removing earwax from your devices.
Use a Soft, Dry Cloth
First, visually inspect your hearing aids at night in order to identify any earwax that has built up throughout the day. In many cases, you can remove the earwax with a soft, dry, clean cloth. Never use a cleaning agent or solvent unless it is formulated for hearing aids.
Use Removal Tools
Hearing aids have a lot of nooks and crannies that are hard to clean with just a cloth. Cleaning kits usually contain a few specialty tools for cleaning hard-to-reach spaces like the microphone port and receiver. Make sure you are only using brushes and picks that are designed to be used on hearing aids to prevent damage, and always be gentle.
Clean Your Wax Filter
Some styles of hearing aids contain built-in wax guards to prevent earwax from reaching the inside of your device. You should check your wax guards on a regular basis and clean or replace them as needed
Clean the Sound Tip
The sound tip is the part of your hearing aid where sounds enter. Keeping this area free from earwax and other debris is crucial. Many cleaning kits include a wax loop or brush that is helpful for cleaning this area.
Clean Your Tubing
Behind-the-ear hearing aids have tubing that can easily get clogged with earwax or other debris, which is why it’s designed to be replaced periodically. The buildup inside the tube can be cleaned with a bendable wire or air blower. For more information about keeping your hearing aids clean or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, contact The House Institute Hearing Health Centers today.