- Earwax and debris can build up in the ear canal, leading to irritation and potential infection.
- Various tools are available to help you clean and maintain your hearing aids. They include wax loops or picks, brushes, and earmold tubing blowers.
- Keeping up with regular cleaning and maintenance of your hearing aids will help decrease the risk of infection and prolong the life of the devices.
- Follow manufacturer recommendations for cleaning tools, products, and procedures. This will prevent any unintentional damage due to improper cleaning and maintenance and ensure you don’t void your warranty.
- Cleaning your hearing aids helps keep them functioning correctly so they last longer. Occasional professional cleaning is recommended for best results and usually costs $30–$60.
If you’ve recently purchased a pair of hearing aids or already own a pair, it’s important to understand how to take care of them to protect your ear health and keep your hearing aids in good working order.
Research shows increased ear canal debris caused by hearing aid use can lead to irritation and infection.
Hearing aids with wax buildup or excess moisture can also distort sound quality, so proper maintenance can help you avoid complications and hear better.
Depending on your type of hearing aid, you’ll need different tools or procedures to ensure your hearing aids are clean and continue to operate properly. The main types of hearing aids are:
- Completely-in-canal (CIC)
- In-the-canal (ITC)
- Behind-the-ear (BTE)
- Receiver-in-canal (RIC)
- In-the-ear (ITE)
Some hearing aids come with cleaning kits and specific recommendations for cleaning. Always check the product documentation to see if these are available for your model.
Experts suggest placing your hearing aids in a dehumidifier for night storage to prevent moisture buildup, which can damage electrical components.
For the best performance, we recommend regularly taking your hearing aids to your audiologist to check and clean. If you use over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, ask local hearing clinics if they service hearing aids for people who are not patients—more clinics are starting to clean and service OTC hearing aids.
A variety of cleaning products are available for use with your hearing aids. Some are specific to certain hearing aids, while others are more universal. Cleaning kits may be purchased through your hearing aid vendor or local health and drug stores. Here are some of the most common tools:
- Hearing aid brush: A common component of hearing aid tool kits, the brush removes contaminants from the surface, like wax, dirt, or other debris. Individual bristles on the brush are useful to clear the smaller holes on your device.
- Slim tube cleaning tool: These are designed to slide through the tubing of the hearing aids and clear them of dust, dirt, wax, or other contaminants.
- Wax loops: Use a wax pick or loop to clean earwax from the hearing aid opening directed into the ear canal. This buildup can block the sound transmission and interfere with your hearing aid’s functioning. Some of these tools have a loop on one end and a brush or pick on the opposite end.
- Earmold tubing blower: This device gently blows the excess moisture and any remaining debris out of the earmold, tubing, or vents after cleaning.
- NanoClean hearing aid cleaners: These are similar to pipe cleaners but are smaller and can pass through the various tubings and openings of your hearing aids. You can use them in place of or with the slim tube cleaning tool.
- Disinfectant spray: Some of these products contain ingredients that help prevent wax buildup. It’s important to check with the manufacturer’s suggestions for cleaning agents before using any sprays on your hearing aids.
- Microfiber cloth: After cleaning, this soft, lint-free cloth removes the excess wax and debris.
- Hearing aid dryers: Various dehumidifiers and hearing aid drying devices help remove moisture and prevent damage to your hearing aids. Some of these devices include a UV component that cleans and disinfects the device. You can usually purchase these through your hearing care center, hearing aid manufacturer, or stores, like Amazon.
Keeping your hearing aids clean is the key to continued proper functioning and a long life for your hearing devices. Earwax and debris buildup can interfere with sound transmission and increase ear canal irritation.
Ear infections may also result from the irritation and buildup of wax and debris related to hearing aid use. It’s important to perform basic daily cleaning and weekly thorough cleaning.
You should take your hearing aids to a professional every six months or so for cleaning and inspection, more often if you’re having trouble. Many tools are available to help you keep your hearing aids clean. Follow manufacturer recommendations for cleaning tools and procedures.
Manufacturers and clinics will also typically have instructional videos online that can be incredibly helpful. Some devices come with a cleaning tool kit, but if not, you can find kits at many retailers. Using the proper cleaning techniques for your device will help you enjoy the benefits of hearing aid use for years to come.
Have questions about this article? Email us at email@example.com.