Man holding a behind-the-ear hearing aid

Murphy’s Law tells us that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” A better variation might be that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”

In regard to vehicle maintenance, that’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, switch out the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re aiming to protect our investment and stretch out its life.

You should certainly consider hearing aids in the same way. 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 function properly for many years.

So what are the things that can go wrong? Below are the three primary threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to safeguard against them.

1. Physical breakdown

Enemy # 1 is physical destruction. Hearing aids consist of sensitive electronics that are susceptible to damage from shock. To defend against this, be sure you store your hearing aids in their storage cases whenever you’re not wearing them.

An effective guideline is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at all times. Leaving your hearing aids exposed on any surface is just asking for Murphy’s Law to come and bump them off. Likewise, when you’re inserting and removing your hearing aids, it’s best to do this over a soft surface in the event they fall.

In addition, take the time to check and replace the batteries frequently. You’re not doing the electronics any favors by having the hearing aids operate on low battery power.

2. Moisture

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 little that can be done. But it takes a lot less than complete submersion in water to harm your hearing aids.

Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and start wreaking chaos. For that reason, you should refrain from using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while using your hearing aids. Additionally, remember that drastic changes in temperature can create condensation, for instance moving from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, ensure that you dry off any wetness that develops.

We also highly recommend not keeping your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can create issues. This is an additional reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the best spot to store your hearing aids when they aren’t in use.

3. Earwax and dirt

Even if you’ve safeguarded your hearing aids against physical destruction and water with adequate storage and the prevention of moisture, you’ll still need to protect against enemy # 3: dirt and grime.

Earwax, dust, and debris can build up on the hearing aids, clogging the speakers, ports, and other elements. To protect against this, 1) maintain proper ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids every day.

Concerning cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, make sure to use only the tools provided by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can provide cleaning kits and guidance exclusively for your type of hearing aids.

Finally, think about purchasing a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers use ultraviolet light to thoroughly kill pathogens, all while providing a safe place for storage.

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