Cleaning and Disinfecting Hearing Aids and Earmolds
Making the decision to purchase a hearing aid or other hearing device can be the start of a much happier life. With the struggle to follow conversations or enjoy everyday activities greatly diminished, it's no wonder that hearing aid users quickly adapt to wearing their new device almost constantly. Yet in order to continue to get the very best from your hearing aid, a regular and appropriate cleaning regimen must be established from the start.
The Importance Of Cleaning Your Hearing Aids And Earmolds
The human ear is a dark, warm, moist environment, and as a result, it makes the perfect petri dish for a host of bacteria and fungi to grow. Although many of these organisms are quite harmless, when you add a hearing aid or earmold, problems can quickly develop. Bacteria and germs can start to grow on the surface of the device itself, and when these are introduced to the ear canal, it can lead to a myriad of problems. The result can be severe irritation of the ear canal, along with swelling, itching, redness, pain and bad odor. Earwax can also create problems for your hearing aid if allowed to build up.
Cleaning Is Essential
For this reason, when you purchase a new hearing aid or earmolds, you need to establish an appropriate cleaning regimen. While your audiologist may provide a regular service, the cleaning you carry out every day will play the most important part in keeping your ears healthy while extending the life of your device.
You should plan to clean your hearing aid every day, and the best time to do this is before bedtime or when you have finished wearing it for the day. This will give your device the overnight period to “air out” before you next put it in. Always wash your hands thoroughly before starting to clean your device, and be sure to rinse off any soap before you begin. Soap residue can clog your device, and water can cause damage. This is why you should never bathe or shower while wearing your hearing aid.
The right tools will help to ensure that you achieve a great cleaning every time. Start out by using a soft brush, concentrating on openings such as the microphone ports where earwax can collect. Some brushes come with a cleaning spray built in for an extra effective cleaning, such as the InnerScope Hearing Aid Cleaning Spray. A small wax pick can help ensure all wax particles are safely removed. Follow up by wiping over it with a disinfectant towelette. Be sure to choose one that is alcohol-free, such as the InnerScope Hearing Aid Cleaning Wipes, to avoid damaging the surface of your hearing aid or earmold over time.
If you have an earmold you should wipe over the earmold daily, and soak it in warm soapy water once a week. Use a bulb blower to force water through the tubing in order to get it clean, and make sure everything is thoroughly dry before wearing it again.
Practice Good Storage Hygiene
It's important to make sure that your hearing aids and earmolds are stored hygienically when they are charging or not in use, too. Never drop your hearing aid or earmolds in your purse or pocket when you aren't using them: instead, put them carefully away into their storage case. Likewise, don't put your hearing aid or earmolds on countertops, bathroom cabinets or bedside tables when they are no longer needed for the day as all of these environments can be home to a host of ear-aggravating germs and bacteria.
It's also important to avoid exposing your hearing aid or earmolds to extremes of temperatures when not in use. If you have taken your device off in order to go for a swim, don't leave it sitting out in the hot sun; likewise, if you have removed it to play in the snow with the grandchildren, be sure to store it safely away indoors first.
Good Habits Pay Off
The rewards of following a good cleaning regimen for your hearing device are clear to see. Not only can you spare yourself the discomfort of a potential ear condition caused by introducing bacteria and germs to your sensitive ear canal, but your careful attention can also help to prolong the life of your hearing aid.