When you wear hearing aids, it is important to have a daily routine to keep them working properly. At the same time, there are certain things to avoid with respect to hearing aid use and care, especially things that can potentially damage them to the point of having to be replaced. The following is a list of do’s and don’ts to keep your hearing aids performing optimally:
• DO wear your hearing aids during all waking hours of the day, every day! If you are a new user, you may need to adjust gradually, starting with 3 to 5 hours per day, and increasing duration for the first couple of weeks, adding an hour or two each day. If, after a reasonable break-in period, wearing your hearing aid is painful, or uncomfortable, do contact your audiologist.
• DO store your hearing aids overnight in a hearing aid dehumidifier case, being sure to turn them off and open the battery compartment, unless your aids come with a charging box. Make sure to store them away from sunlight and heating vents.
• DO clean wax and debris from your hearing aids daily as outlined in your hearing aid manual. In case of exposure to humidity or perspiration, dry the battery contacts with a cotton swab. Never attempt to dry them with a dryer or microwave!
• DO check to make sure your aids are functioning when you first insert them each day. Some models play a little tune when started, others do not. To check, rub your hands together by each ear – you should be able to hear the rubbing sound.
• DO protect your hearing aids from hair spray and other hair products, perfumes, oils, perspiration, and all other forms of moisture.
• DO keep your hearing devices away from small children and pets. This cannot be over-emphasized! Hearing aid batteries are very dangerous if swallowed, and can even result in death.
• DO carry spare batteries, and replace them as soon as the low-battery warning sound begins, if your aids have this feature.
• DO remove your hearing aids for X-rays, CAT and MRI scans or other electromagnetic procedures.
• DON’T let your hearing aids get wet. Do not store them in the bathroom during a bath or shower and do not wear while swimming or receiving spa and salon treatments. Moisture from the steam can damage your instruments quickly.
• DON’T wear your hearing aids when using a hair dryer, at home or at the salon/barber shop. Do not leave your aids in your car, in a sunny window, near a stove or radiator, or any other place with excessive heat exposure.
• DON’T spray hairspray or perfumes while wearing your hearing aids – this can damage the microphone and erode the case or faceplate.
• DON’T sleep with your hearing aids in. Always remove them, and place in their case for overnight storage and recharge, if rechargeable. If not, be sure to open the battery compartment.
• DON’T store your hearing aid batteries in the refrigerator.
• DON’T store your aids for any extended time with the batteries inside – they can leak and corrode the instrument.
• DON’T store your batteries or hearing aids within reach of small children or pets. Swallowing a battery is a true medical emergency, and many children and pets die each year from eating batteries.
• DON’T allow anyone else to use your hearing aids.
• DON’T attempt to repair your hearing aids yourself. Opening the instrument voids the warranty in most instruments. See your audiologist for anything other than cleaning, drying, or changing batteries.
• DON’T hesitate to contact your audiologist if you have any concerns about your hearing aids at any point.
Good daily care and maintenance of your hearing devices will help keep your hearing aids in tip-top condition and ensure that you get the very most from them.