Murphy’s Law informs 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, replace the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re aiming to protect our investment and expand its life.
You should think of hearing aids in a similar manner. If you give things a chance to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your care and maintenance, your hearing aids can last and operate properly for many years.
So what are some of the things that can go wrong? Here are the three principal threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to protect against them.
1. Physical damage
Opponent # 1 is physical destruction. Hearing aids contain fragile electronics that are susceptible to damage from shock. To defend against this, make sure to store your hearing aids in their storage cases anytime you’re not using them.
A good rule of thumb is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at any given time. Leaving your hearing aids unprotected on any surface is just asking for Murphy’s Law to come and knock them off. Similarly, when you’re inserting or removing your hearing aids, it’s a good idea to do this over a soft surface in case they fall.
Additionally, take the time to check and replace the batteries frequently. You’re not doing the circuitry any favors by forcing the hearing aids work on low battery power.
Electronic devices and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a cell phone in the kitchen sink understands all too well. Once underwater, there’s very little that can be done. But it takes a lot less than complete submersion in water to damage your hearing aids.
Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and begin causing havoc. Consequently, you should avoid using hairspray, bug spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. In addition, remember that drastic changes in temperature can create condensation, for example going from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, make sure to dry off any wetness that develops.
We also recommend not storing 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 place to store your hearing aids when they aren’t being used.
3. Earwax and dirt
Even if you’ve safeguarded your hearing aids against physical destruction and water with adequate storage and the avoidance of moisture, you’ll still need to protect against adversary # 3: dirt and grime.
Earwax, dirt, and debris can build up on the hearing aids, blocking the speakers, ports, and other elements. To guard against this, 1) maintain adequate ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids every day.
In terms of cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the equipment supplied by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can supply cleaning kits and directions specifically for your type of hearing aids.
Finally, think about buying a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers utilize ultraviolet light to comprehensively kill pathogens, all while supplying a safe place for storage.