Learning how to clean your hearing aid is worth the effort. These fairly sophisticated devices need to be maintained and, when you think about it, aren’t exactly doing their time in the best of working conditions.
The inside of your ear canal is, well, not a pristine environment. Earwax, sweat, and hair all accumulate and need to be removed in order to keep your hearing aid at optimum performance.
One of the best things you can do is get into the habit of maintaining your device every day, preferably in the evening so that the unit can dry in the open air while you sleep. Let it join the brushing of teeth as an automatic aspect of the day.
The first step is to get the right tools. A brush and wax pick are the primary tools for the job. With these, you can delicately remove built-up wax that can hinder the operation of the amplifier, the part of a hearing aid that sends enhanced sound waves to your eardrums. Other common tools are specially designed wire-loop tube and vent cleaners, small magnets for extracting batteries, specialized tools for opening the battery door, and air blowers for cleaning dust with targeted air.
Do not use wipes or cue-tips with rubbing alcohol, as the chemicals could damage the delicate circuitry of modern hearing aids.
There are also hearing aid dehumidifiers on the market in which your hearing aid can spend the night and be thoroughly dried out. The simple kinds are jars with a desiccant — a substance that produces a state of dryness — that will draw out the moisture in the unit. The more complex kinds use ultraviolet light to not only dry but sanitize your hearing aid.
If in doubt, consult your hearing healthcare provider, who will be happy to help you learn about the proper maintenance routines for your unit.
At some point, your hearing healthcare provider should do a specialized “deep cleaning” of your hearing aid. You won’t have the specialized equipment to do this kind of professional maintenance.