Keeping Them in Fine Fettle All Year
Hearing aids are amazing devices. These mini-supercomputers have improved millions of people’s quality of life.
Like any technology, they require regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. But even if you’re diligent about DIY care, the changing of the seasons can do a number on your devices.
Let’s look at the importance of maintaining your hearing aids and why we recommend seasonal checkups.
Why Hearing Aid Maintenance Matters
Hearing aids are delicate and sophisticated yet surprisingly tough. But you still need to take steps to ensure they function at their best.
Consider a car: Many people are comfortable changing external things on a car, such as tires, headlights, and windshield wipers. But they take their car in regularly for an oil change and general inspection.
Hearing aids are similar. Many people are comfortable changing external things, such as tubing, domes, and wax guards. But it’s best to take in hearing aids regularly so your provider can look “under the hood,” so to speak, and make sure the processor and other components are clean and working correctly.
Proper maintenance and regular clean and checks:
- Prevent premature wear and tear, extending your hearing aids’ lifespans, which saves you money in the long run.
- Ensure your hearing aids dependably provide clear, natural sounds for optimal speech comprehension.
- Make it much easier to find problems when they’re small, not when they’ve become major — and costly — problems.
- Reduce the chance for discomfort or irritation in your ears.
Why Should You Get a Seasonal Checkup?
It might not be immediately obvious why you should consider scheduling a seasonal checkup for your hearing aids. For one, tying your hearing aid clean and checks to the seasons makes it easy to remember.
But the performance and longevity of your devices are also at stake. Let’s take a look.
The Effects of Weather
Different weather conditions impact your hearing aids in different ways:
Take dirt and pollen, add some wind and a dry day, and you have a recipe for debris setting up shop in your hearing devices. As it builds up, it can start to damage the internal parts. Getting a clean and check at spring’s end will help undo the damage.
Summer’s increased humidity means more sweat, which can get inside your hearing aids and affect the digital components. The same goes for the ubiquitous sunscreen, tanning lotion, and bug spray. That’s why you should clean your devices more often in the summer. But a clean and check around Labor Day will make sure your devices get a deeper cleaning than DIY can manage.
The wind often picks back up in autumn, which means plenty of debris. Depending on where you live, that could mean dirt, bits of dead leaves and pinecones, or even sand. And you aren’t done with water worries — when you go from the cool or cold outside to the much warmer inside, condensation is a threat. A checkup right before the holidays is a good way to ensure they’re up to the task of all those get-togethers!
Winter’s cold temperatures often lead to condensation inside your hearing aids. The extra precipitation can also wreak havoc. Even if you’re diligent about storing your devices in a dehumidifier, a clean and check near the end of winter allows your provider to inspect for excess moisture.
Hearing Lifestyle Changes
The changing seasons often force lifestyle adjustments. If you switch from swimming and softball in the summer to bonfires and indoor gatherings in the fall, your hearing aids might need a fine-tuning to adapt accordingly.
What to Expect During a Seasonal Hearing Aid Checkup
A hearing aid checkup ensures your devices are in optimal condition and includes several steps:
We’ll thoroughly clean your hearing aids inside and out to remove any earwax, dirt, or debris buildup. Clean hearing aids, aside from functioning better, are more comfortable to wear.
We’ll thoroughly inspect your hearing aids for wear, corrosion, and damage. If any issues are found, we’ll address them to prevent larger issues.
We’ll test to see if your hearing aids are amplifying sound correctly and still meeting your needs. We’ll also make any needed programming and setting adjustments.
If your devices use disposable batteries, we’ll check the power levels. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, we’ll confirm their charging function is still up to par.
Fit and Comfort
We’ll assess the fit and comfort of your hearing aids and address any issues to ensure your devices provide a comfortable listening experience.
We’ll ask how your lifestyle is expected to change in the coming season so we can tailor your hearing aids to your needs.
In Between Clean and Checks
Cleaning your hearing aids at the end of every day is ideal. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a big production. Using the tools and instructions provided when you received your hearing aids:
Remove Any Earwax
Inspect the tip that goes into your ear and brush or wipe off any visible wax. If you have a hard shell, wipe the hearing aid with a dry cloth. If you have a soft, rubber tip, brush wax away. Don’t use water or chemicals!
Inspect the Microphone
Consult the literature that came with your devices if you’re not sure where the microphone is. Run your brush across the microphones to remove any debris.
Inspect the Wax Guard
If your hearing aids have a small wax guard, inspect and replace it if necessary. Some instruments have tubing instead — use your cleaning tools to pick out any wax.
Use Your Vent-Cleaning Tool
Many custom hearing aids or earmolds have a vent or air passage and a tool to clean it. Running this thin filament through the vent space can push any wax out.
Keep Them Dry and Stored Away
As you no doubt noticed, the common thread of the seasonal problems is moisture. It’s like kryptonite to hearing aids! You have to put your hearing aids somewhere every night while you’re sleeping — make sure it’s in a dehumidifier that doubles as a storage solution.
Regular maintenance is crucial if you want your hearing aids to continue providing sound that’s clear and comfortable. Regular checkups address each season’s unique challenges and extend their usable life, so don’t wait for problems — make maintenance and clean and checks part of your routine!
Contact us today if you have questions about the maintenance needs of your specific hearing device model!
We’ve got answers and we’re standing by to help.