Murphy’s Law tells us that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” A better variant might be that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”
In terms of vehicle maintenance, that’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, replace the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re attempting to preserve our investment and stretch its life.
You should think of 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 function properly for many years.
So what are the things that can go wrong? The following are the three principal threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to defend against them.
1. Physical damage
Enemy # 1 is physical damage. Hearing aids consist of sensitive electronics that are susceptible to damage from shock. To protect against this, be sure you 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 all times. Leaving your hearing aids unprotected on any surface is just asking for Murphy’s Law to come and shove them off. Similarly, when you’re inserting and removing your hearing aids, it’s a good idea to do this over a soft surface in the event they fall.
In addition, take the time to check and replace the batteries frequently. You’re not doing the electronics any favors by forcing the hearing aids function on low battery power.
Electronics and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a mobile phone in the sink knows all too well. Once underwater, there’s not much that can be done. But it requires much 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 causing havoc. For this reason, you should avoid using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. Also, keep in mind that extreme changes in temperature can create condensation, for example moving from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, ensure that you dry off any moisture that develops.
We also recommend not keeping your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can generate issues. This is another reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the ideal place to keep your hearing aids when they aren’t being used.
3. Earwax and dirt
Even if you’ve protected your hearing aids against physical damage and water with proper storage and the avoidance of moisture, you’ll still have to protect against adversary # 3: dirt and grime.
Earwax, dust, and debris can accumulate on the hearing aids, blocking the speakers, ports, and other elements. To guard against this, 1) sustain proper ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids each day.
In terms of cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the equipment supplied by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can provide cleaning kits and directions specifically for your type of hearing aids.
And finally, think about purchasing a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers make use of ultraviolet light to comprehensively kill pathogens, all while supplying a safe place for storage.