Cleaning and taking good care of your hearing aid every day is very important. The better you care for your hearing aid, the less often it will break down and need to be sent in for repair. Below is a list of things you can do every day to help keep your hearing aid working properly. If you ever have questions about your hearing aid, call St. Jude Audiology at 901-595-3618. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), extension 3618.
Daily hearing aid care checklist
- Check the battery with a battery tester. If the battery is low or not working at all, replace the old battery with a new one right away. Leaving old batteries in the hearing aid will cause corrosion, which can cause your hearing aid to stop working. Also, it is a good idea to carry extra batteries with you because you never know when your hearing aid battery will stop working.
- Check the earmold and tubing for clogging or cracks. If the earmold has earwax or debris in it, use your wax loop tool that came with the hearing aid to gently remove the blockage. If the earmold or tubing is cracked, please tell your audiologist. See below for how to wash your earmold.
- Check the microphone port for debris (dirt, wax). If it is clogged, gently remove the debris with the wax loop tool. Be careful to not insert the wax loop too deeply because it can push the debris in further and damage the microphone.
- Check the hearing aid case for damage such as cracks, broken battery door, or exposed wires. If you notice any damage to the hearing aid case, please tell your audiologist.
- Check dials and switches for ease of movement or breakage. The dials and switches include the telecoil or program toggle switch (not all hearing aids will have extra dials or switches). If you have problems with a dial or switch, please tell your audiologist.
- Use the hearing aid stethoscope you have been given to check the quality of sound. You should perform a hearing aid listening check daily so you know the hearing aid is working well. The sound should be crisp and clear with no static or distortion. Once the hearing aid stethoscope is attached to the hearing aid, say the sounds “oo,” “ee,” “ah,” “sh”, “s,” and “f.” Are they clear? Also, check the volume control (not available on all hearing aids). Move it up and down to check if the sound is clear and hearing aid is working correctly.
- Check for feedback (whistling). Feedback is usually caused by one of these problems: 1) the connection between the hearing aid, tubing, and/or earmold may not be tight, 2) the tubing or earmold may be cracked, 3) earwax is blocking the ear or hearing aid, or 4) the hearing aid may not be fitting properly. Make sure the hearing aid is in the ear correctly and it is in all the way. If feedback occurs even after all of these things have been checked, talk to your audiologist.
Cleaning your hearing aids
Clean your hearing aids as instructed. Wipe the hearing aid case with a dry, soft cloth. Do not get the electronic parts wet! Detach the earmold and tubing from the earhook (the half-moon shaped plastic connected to the hearing aid) and clean in warm, soapy water. Make sure earmolds are completely dry before re-attaching them. If the microphone port is clogged with debris, gently remove it with a wax loop tool. Be careful not to push the wax loop tool in too deeply. It might damage the hearing aid.
Tips for taking care of your hearing aids
- Keep your hearing aids away from moisture. Exposure to moisture is the number one reason for hearing aids to need repairs. Moisture problems in your hearing aid can be caused by direct contact with water, excessive sweating, steam from a shower, high humidity, and bad weather such as rain, sleet, snow, and fog.
- Turn off your hearing aid, open the battery door, and place it in the drying kit each night. You received a drying kit when you were first given your hearing aid. Placing the hearing aids in the dry kit container with the battery door open allows air to circulate through the hearing aid. The drying kit draws moisture out of the hearing aid. Nightly drying keeps the hearing aid in good condition, and it will be less likely to need repair.
- Keep your hearing aid away from heat. Exposure to high temperatures (such as in the car on a sunny day) can damage the hearing aid circuit.
- Protect your hearing aid from shock by changing the battery over a towel, on a table, or over a bed. This will cushion the fall if you drop the hearing aid. It will also help keep your battery from flying across the room.
- Do not apply hairspray, perfume, cologne, bath powder, after-shave, makeup, or shaving cream while wearing hearing aids. These contain chemicals that can build up and damage the hearing aid circuitry.
- Turn off your hearing aid and open the battery door when not in use. The batteries will last longer.
- Keep hearing aid batteries away from children. The batteries can look like candy to children, but batteries are poisonous and can be fatal if swallowed. If you think a child has swallowed a battery, call your local poison control center right away.
- Keep hearing aids away from pets. Dogs and cats love hearing aids and will eat them quickly if they get a chance! If your hearing aid becomes damaged, it is important to collect as much of the hearing aid as possible and return it to St. Jude.
- Hearing aids and sports can go together. Ask your audiologist for more information if you play sports.
- Carry a hearing aid case with you. Do not put your hearing aid in a purse or backpack unprotected because it may become damaged. Forgotten hearing aids placed in pockets often get washed.
If you need someone to show you how to do any of these activities, talk to the audiologist.
Adapted from materials from Beginnings for Parents of Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Inc. (ncbegin.org) and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (www.nidcd.nih.gov).
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).
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