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Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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Caring For Your Hearing Aid

Proper care and cleaning of your hearing aid will help keep your aid functioning properly and may prevent the need for repeated repairs. There are three places that need to be cleaned on any hearing instrument:

  • The Shell
  • The Microphone
  • The Receiver

The Shell

The shell is considered any surface on the hearing aid. For in-the-ear aids, wax is most likely going to build up in the bends of the shell. For behind-the-ear aids, debris from dirt and oils will build up in any groove or fissure. Wax or debris on the shell of a hearing aid can cause the aid to not fit properly, be uncomfortable in the ear or inhibit the movement of any working parts (i.e. volume control).

  • Do NOT use a dripping wet cloth or any chemical cleaners on your hearing aid.
  • slightly dampen the tissue or cloth for more stubborn wax build-up.
  • For particularly difficult build-up, you may want to use the brush that was included with your aid to sweep the debris away.

The Microphone

The microphone is one of the most delicate parts of your hearing aid and special care should be used when cleaning.

  • Do NOT poke anything into the microphone port.
  • Make sure to turn your hearing aid upside down so the microphone port is facing the floor while cleaning so that any loose debris falls out of the microphone and not into it.
  • Using the brush provided with your hearing aid, gently brush across the microphone port to sweep away any debris.

The Receiver

Second only to a dead battery, wax buildup in the receiver is the most common cause of hearing aid failure. The receiver is the hole in the shell of the hearing aid with a rubber tube around it. This tube directs the sound from the speaker of the aid to your ear. Daily cleaning with the brush and tissue as described above while cleaning the shell will help prevent most build up in the receiver port. Further cleaning may be necessary if wax gets into the receiver.

  • You need to be gentle while cleaning out the receiver as too much force may cause more extensive damage.
  • Use the wax pick (small wire loop) provided with your hearing aid, insert into the opening until you meet resistance and then scoop back out. Continue scooping until the opening is free of wax.
  • Some hearing aids may have other wax prevention systems for the receiver, such as a wax guard or wax spring. Please discuss with your audiologist the best way to clean these special systems.

Should you have any questions or need further assistance on the proper cleaning methods, please ask your audiologist. They will gladly review these methods with you to ensure successful hearing aid performance.