Hearing aids are a big investment. But if your hearing aid isn’t clean, it may not be functioning at full capacity. Not to mention the device could wear down faster. To maximize the life and functionality of your hearing aid, it should be cared for and maintained properly.
With a combination of these at-home cleaning tips and regular professional maintenance, your hearing aids should remain in premium condition for years.
General Hearing Aid Cleaning Tips
Most behind-the-ear (BTE) or in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids are cleaned the same way. This includes brands such as Oticon, Siemens, Phonak, ReSound, Starkey, Unitron, Rexton, Sonic, and Widex.
If you use a different kind of hearing aid, such as an inner ear Lyric Hearing Aid or a Soundbite Hearing System, skip ahead to those specific sections below. Otherwise, read on for our best cleaning tips for common ITE and BTE hearing aids:
- Use a brush and wax pick to remove earwax and debris: One of the most common problems with hearing aids is earwax build up. Using a hearing aid brush or a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush any openings to remove debris. Keep the opening you are cleaning face down so gravity helps pull debris out. Use a wax pick to clear out anything remaining.
- Remove hearing aids before showering and while getting ready. Many hair and body products, such as shampoo, hair spray, and lotion, can damage a hearing aid.
- Do not use any liquids to clean. Like most technology, liquids can be very damaging to a hearing aid. Instead, simply wipe the pieces with a soft, dry cloth.
- For some BTE units, you may clean the tubing and earmold with water or a damp cloth. Check your user’s guide to see if you are able to use water on your BTE. If allowed, separate completely from the microphone before cleaning. Use a bulb blower to remove any water from the tube and allow to dry overnight.
- Clean hearing aids and remove batteries nightly. Ears get humid and sweaty, so airing out hearing aids and batteries at night will give them maximum time to dry.
How to Clean Lyric Hearing Aids
The Lyric hearing aid is inserted completely into the ear canal and is not regularly removed. Instead, it is worn around-the-clock, for up to 4 months. Even while showering!
Because it is not removed regularly, it cannot be cleaned regularly. For the best hearing and to prolong the life of your Lyric, use the following guidelines:
- Do not submerge your head in water. The Lyric is water-resistant, not waterproof.
- Cover or protect your ears while using hairspray, perfume or cologne, hair dyes, sunscreen, or other liquids.
How to clean the SoundBite Hearing System
The SoundBite Hearing System is designed for single-sided deafness and consists of two pieces: an in-the-mouth (ITM) unit and a BTE microphone unit. The BTE unit can be cleaned much like other BTE hearing aids, described above. For the ITM piece, use the following tips:
- Make sure the unit is fully dry before charging.
- Rinse after eating. If needed, use a soft-bristle toothbrush and water to remove any food particles.
- Remove before taking oral medications – they may coat or adhere to the unit.
- Use a daily antibacterial denture cleaner.
If in doubt, read your User’s Guide
If you have a question about how to clean your hearing aid, your owner’s manual or user’s guide should have complete instructions.
If you want to know more about a specific brand of hearing aid and if it might work for you, contact us today to schedule an appointment or request more information.
About Dr Zhanneta Shapiro
Dr Zhanneta Shapiro received her Masters of Science from Brooklyn College in 2005 and completed her Doctorate of Audiology from Florida University in May 2008. Her graduate training was in various hospitals in the tri-state area and a residency period completed at Ear Nose and Throat Associates of New York. [ Learn More ]