When purchasing a new hearing aid, there are a multitude of things to learn and to remember. You were probably given a case or a box to keep your hearing aids in at night, as well as a cleaning tool or two. There are several different kinds of tools appropriate for cleaning your instruments, depending on what kind of hearing aid you have.
I like the above picture because it shows the three types of cleaning tools I think are the most common and most often used.
The tool on the left is a long thin piece of plastic; it almost looks like a bristle from a broom. This type of tool is most commonly used on an open fit hearing aid.
Your hearing healthcare professional will show you how to detach the tubing from the hearing aid and you will be able to use the cleaning tool in the tubing to eliminate or remove chunks of wax or debris that have gathered, or even to break up drops of moisture that can be the culprit for a dead/nonworking hearing aid. Once you have removed the wax or debris from the tubing, it can be placed back on the hearing aid and you will continue using it as per usual.
The middle tool is the hook, which is probably my favorite tool and is useful for all styles of instruments. The hook is a thin piece of wire meant to be small enough to work into a receiver tube of a hearing aid and to pull out any wax or debris inside. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that this needs to be done GENTLY…you GENTLY work it into the receiver of the aid if you can see any wax or debris inside. Then GENTLY hook the wax with the tool and GENTLY remove from the hearing aid. If you feel any resistance at all when you are pulling on the tool, STOP what you are doing immediately and try to GENTLY loosen the hook. Be very cautious when doing this type of cleaning because you can do more harm than good if you aren’t careful or if you handle the instrument too roughly.
The last tool in the picture is a small brush. The brush has multiple uses, but as you see in the picture above, one is to brush debris out of the microphone ports (GENTLY, of course!) You may also use the brush to help clean out the receiver, but you want to make sure you do not do this when the wax is sticky or still wet. I recommend that patients take out their hearing aids when they go to bed at night and then clean them in the morning before they put them in their ears. This way, the wax will be dried and easier to remove from the instrument, plus it’s easier to get into the routine of putting in your hearing aids if you have a sort of “ritual”.
Happy Cleaning! Remember, always BE GENTLE and if you’re not sure how to clean your instrument, ask your hearing healthcare professional for some tips and pointers!
Until next time,