How To Clean Hearing Aids Without Damaging Them
November 30, 2022

As people age, some changes are natural and expected. Muscle mass is reduced, joints have less flexibility and strength, and wrinkles start to appear. Many older adults also notice issues with their senses, especially their sight and hearing. While glasses are common, hearing aids are less widely used. Learning how to clean hearing aids can be a new experience, but it is vital to keep these beneficial devices fully functional.

How To Clean Hearing Aids Safely

Hearing aids are complicated pieces of technology that require careful care. You can't rinse them in water like you may be able to do with other medical equipment because they could become damaged. Cleaning your aids takes a bit of care but doesn't have to be hard.

Understanding the Parts of Your Hearing Aids

understanding the parts of your hearing aids

As you get started cleaning your hearing aids, take a moment to understand the different parts of the device. Many over-the-ear models will have the actual aid, which includes the microphone and amplifier that actually improve your hearing. They may also have an ear mold and a wire that help hold the aid in place.

With a sleeker designed model such as the Atom Pro, you have fewer pieces to deal with. The aid has a cushion attached for comfort and comes with a charger. All of these need to be regularly cleaned for hygiene and best function.

Proper Cleaning Tools for Your Hearing Aids

proper cleaning tools for hearing aids

When considering how to clean hearing aids, make sure you have the right tools. One of the most important is a specialized cleaning brush. This brush is specifically designed to fit into the nooks of your hearing aid without damaging it. Brushes that aren't made for this task or for your model of hearing aid may be too big or rough and could cause problems.

You may also need a small screwdriver to get to certain parts of the aid. This might be required if dirt or grime gets deeply embedded in the aid and a simple brushing doesn't dislodge it. Much like a cleaning brush, only use a specially made screwdriver so you don't damage the screws and cause problems with the unit.

How To Clean Your Hearing Aids Daily

how to clean hearing aids daily

With daily maintenance, you can prevent too much buildup. Every day your ears produce wax and oil naturally, so you should clear away those substances from your devices every day. Start by removing the hearing aid from your ear and wiping it down with a soft cloth or brush.

You also want to remove the earbud cushion and clean the inside of it, then clean around the area where the earbud attaches. Since this is the part of the hearing aid that goes the deepest into your ear, it is the spot that will likely have the most wax on it. The brush can help you knock out anything stuck in the curves or folds of the earbud.

To disinfect the hearing aid, buy sanitizing wipes that are designed for this purpose. Rubbing alcohol and other wipes may damage the unit, so they should be avoided. Be careful not to apply too much moisture to the hearing aid so liquid doesn't get into the microphone or amplifier.

Remember to also use your sanitizing wipe to clean the inside of the charging case. You want to make sure the spot where your aids sit to recharge is bacteria-free. A quick wipe-down inside and out should usually be all you need.

It is not a good idea to stick brush bristles or any kind of sharp objects into the microphone or speaker holes of your hearing aid. If you notice a piece of debris stuck in one of these spots and it doesn't come loose, call the support team for the company that made your aids. Audien Hearing has support crews available by phone, email and web chat to help you.

Why You Need To Clean Your Hearing Aids

why you need to clean your hearing aids

Learning how to clean hearing aids offers a lot of benefits for people who rely on their aids to experience the world. High on the list is decreasing the chances of ear infections. When old wax and dirt are held close to your inner ear, bacteria could grow and an infection could take hold. Not only are ear infections painful, but they can also further damage your hearing.

Your hearing aids will also work better when they are kept clean. The more grime there is on the earpiece, the harder it is for sound to make it through. That means you get less of the hearing help that you wanted in the first place.

Benefits of Fully Functioning Hearing Aids

how to clean your hearing aids safely

Using hearing aids that work well can do a lot to improve your quality of life. If you've had trouble with your hearing, you know how frustrating it can be when you can't communicate properly with other people. From missed words to messages that just don't get through, you can become disconnected from the people and things that you enjoy.

Hearing aids can also help your brain work better as you age. Losing your hearing can take a toll on your cognitive function. Our brains are built to receive and combine data from all of our senses, including our hearing. When that data is missing, it changes the way our minds are able to understand speech and hurts brain function.

Fortunately, that cognitive processing capability can be restored. By using hearing aids, the brain can function closer to the way it is meant to. Memory and processing speed can improve for adults who embrace hearing aids.

The Importance of Learning How To Clean Hearing Aids

Getting hearing aids is a great step towards improving your health and quality of life, and you can keep those gains by taking care of your devices. Once you learn how to clean hearing aids, you can make sure you get all the value they have to offer. If you want to find devices that are right for you and take charge of your hearing, check out the options from Audien Hearing.

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Drew Sutton M.D.

Drew Sutton, MD is a board-certified otolaryngologist. He has extensive experience and training in sinus and respiratory diseases, ear and skull base surgery, and pulmonary disorders. He has served as a Clinical Instructor at Grady Hospital Emory University for more than 12 years.

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