Hearing aids are truly a dependable feat of engineering. They are used daily, exposed to the elements and often house a tiny computer. They take a beating and keep on going, helping us to expand our quality of life and continue to find comfort and joy in our close relationships.
But they’re also an investment and another item to care for. Because we know you don’t want to replace your hearing aids once you’ve fully gotten used to relying on them in your daily life, here are some tips to help extend their longevity.
Hearing aids are a machine
Just like every other helpful machine in your life, hearing aids will sometimes require maintenance. Unlike our car, which will blink the oil light at us to remind us it’s time for a change, hearing aids might show more subtle signs that they need adjustment. That’s why it is so important to keep to the schedule of check-ins your audiologist recommends.
Not only will they perform an exam to see how your hearing loss is progressing, they also look to see how your hearing aids are performing. If a problem or weakness is spotted, they have the tools to run diagnostics on your hearing aids and the skill to make small adjustments to your program or to the devices themselves.
Many hearing aids have extended warranties, so these small repairs might be free to you. Because warranties vary between manufacturers and models, it’s important to keep track of the particular services covered under your warranty.
Preserving battery life
A common complaint is having to change the batteries in your hearing aids too often. If you find this happening to you, try opening the battery compartments at night while you (and your hearing aids) are resting. On average, most hearing aids will require a battery change every three to 10 days, unless you have rechargeable batteries.
Stay on top of replacing batteries because waiting until they’re totally dead is a poor maintenance strategy.
Keep hearing aids dry
Hearing aids live half of their lives in an environment that is inherently bad news for machines: the warm, damp ear canal. Luckily, they are built to withstand this for the most part and many are water-resistant.
However, it is still a good idea for the lifespan of your hearing aids to ensure that you keep them as dry as possible. Even water-resistant hearing aids should not be worn while bathing or swimming. Damp and humid environments like spas, steam rooms and hot tubs are lovely treatments for your muscles and skin but will wreak havoc on your hearing aids. Always store them in a safe, dry compartment until you’ve left the spa.
Clean them daily
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to extend the life of your hearing aids is to develop a simple nightly cleaning routine and stick to it. With a small, dry cloth, carefully wipe down your hearing aids each evening when you remove them. Then, store them in their case in the same spot each night. You may even have a small brush to assist with removing earwax from your hearing aids, which can help to prevent a larger buildup issue down the road.
If you have questions about cleaning your hearing aids, your audiologist can walk you through their recommended routine until you feel comfortable performing the nightly ritual on your own.
Keep your hearing aid equipment together
It might seem like a silly step, but having a special case or bag for your hearing aids can prevent them from getting lost in the shuffle. Purchase or repurpose a small carrying case for your hearing aids and any associated items like cleaning utensils or extra batteries. Keep everything together in one place and store this in a designated space. Hearing aids and their accessories can be small and misplacing them is easy. If you keep them all together in the same place, it’s impossible to lose them!
Schedule a hearing exam today
Our team of highly trained hearing health professionals are ready to help you discover your best possible hearing! Schedule a hearing consultation today and we’ll walk you through a simple hearing exam before evaluating whether you are a good candidate for hearing aids or other hearing solutions. Together, we’ll get you started down the path of a better listening life.