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.”
That’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, switch out the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re trying to protect our investment and lengthen its life.
You should certainly 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 maintenance, your hearing aids can last and perform properly for several years.
So what are some of the things that can go wrong? Below are the three main threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to protect against them.
1. Physical breakdown
Opponent # 1 is physical damage. Hearing aids contain fragile electronics that are susceptible to damage from shock. To protect against this, be sure you store your hearing aids in their storage cases anytime 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. Placing 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 best to do this over a soft surface in case 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 operate on low battery power.
Electronics and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a cell phone in the kitchen sink understands all too well. Once immersed, there’s very little that can be done. But it requires a lot 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 causing chaos. As a result, you should avoid using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. In addition, keep in mind that drastic changes in temperature can create 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 keeping your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can generate issues. This is yet another reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the ideal location to keep your hearing aids when they aren’t in use.
3. Earwax and dirt
Even if you’ve safeguarded your hearing aids against physical damage and water with appropriate storage and the prevention of moisture, you’ll still have to protect against adversary # 3: dirt and grime.
Earwax, dirt, and debris can build up on the hearing aids, clogging the speakers, ports, and other parts. To protect against this, 1) maintain proper ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids every day.
Regarding cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the tools supplied by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can supply cleaning kits and guidance specifically for your type of hearing aids.
And finally, think about buying a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers use ultraviolet light to comprehensively kill dangerous pathogens, all while providing a safe place for storage.