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How to Care for Hearing Aids

Daily care is important to keep hearing aids working properly. The better you care for your hearing aid, the less often it will need repair or replacement.

There are different types of hearing aids. Follow the instructions you were given for your specific device.

Daily hearing aid care

  • Check the battery with a battery tester. If the battery is low or not working at all, replace the old battery with a new one right away. Leaving old batteries in the hearing aid will cause corrosion, which can cause your hearing aid to stop working. It is a good idea to carry extra batteries with you because you never know when your hearing aid battery will stop working.
  • Check the openings on the hearing aid for debris like dirt or wax. This includes checking the microphone and the receiver ports and vents. Gently remove debris with the wax loop tool. Be careful not to insert the wax loop too deep because it can push debris further in and damage the hearing aid.
  • If you have a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, check the earmold and tubing for clogging or cracks. If there is earwax or debris in the earmold, use your wax loop tool that came with the hearing aid to gently remove the blockage. If the earmold or tubing is cracked, please tell your audiologist.
Hearing aid

Ensure your hearing aid has no cracks and has no blockage in the tube.

  • Check the hearing aid case for damage such as cracks or exposed wires. If you notice any damage to the hearing aid case, please tell your audiologist.
  • Check all dials and switches for ease of movement, and make sure they work properly. The dials and switches include the telecoil or program toggle switch, but not all hearing aids will have extra dials or switches. If you have problems with a dial or switch, tell your audiologist.
  • Use a hearing aid stethoscope to check the sound quality. You should perform a hearing aid listening check daily, so you know the hearing aid is working well. The sound should be crisp and clear with no static or distortion. Once the hearing aid stethoscope is attached to the hearing aid, say the sounds “oo,” “ee,” “ah,” “sh,” “s,” and “f” and see if they are clear.
  • Check the volume control (not available on all hearing aids). Move it up and down to check if the sound is clear and the hearing aid is working correctly.
  • Check for feedback (whistling). Feedback is usually caused by one of these problems:
    1) The hearing aid may not be fitting properly. Make sure the hearing aid is in the ear correctly, and it is in all the way.
    2) A part of the hearing aid may be cracked or damaged.
    3) Earwax may be blocking the ear or hearing aid.
    4) If you have a behind-the-ear hearing aid, the connection between the hearing aid, tubing, or earmold may not be tight.

If feedback occurs after all these things have been checked, talk to your audiologist.

Checking the hearing aid battery

Check the hearing aid battery and replace old batteries right away. Always keep batteries away from children.

How to clean your hearing aid

Clean your hearing aid as instructed. Wipe the case with a dry, soft cloth. Do not get your hearing aid wet!

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid: Detach the earmold and tubing from the ear hook, which is the half-moon shaped plastic connected to the hearing aid. Clean the earmold and tubing in warm, soapy water. Make sure earmolds are completely dry before re-attaching them. If the microphone port is clogged with debris, gently remove it with a wax loop tool. Be careful not to push the wax loop tool in too deeply. It might damage the hearing aid.

In the ear (ITE): Gently remove debris from the hearing aid openings with the wax loop tool.

Tips for taking care of your hearing aid

  • Keep your hearing aid away from moisture. Moisture is the number one reason for a hearing aid needing repairs. Moisture problems in your hearing aid can be caused by direct contact with water, excessive sweating, steam from a shower, high humidity, and exposure to weather such as rain, sleet, snow, and fog.
  • Turn your hearing aid off, open the battery door, and place it in the drying kit each night. Placing the hearing aid in the dry kit container with the battery door open allows air to circulate through the hearing aid. The drying kit draws moisture out of the hearing aid. Drying a hearing aid every night will keep it in good condition and make it less likely to need repair.
  • Keep your hearing aid away from heat. High temperatures can damage the hearing aid circuit.
  • Protect your hearing aid from shock and damage caused by falls by changing the battery over a towel, on a table, or over a bed. This will cushion the fall if you drop the hearing aid. It will also help keep your battery from flying across the room.
  • Do not apply products such as hairspray, perfume, cologne, bath powder, after-shave, makeup, or shaving cream while wearing hearing aids. These products contain chemicals and residue that can build up and damage the hearing aid circuitry.
  • Turn off your hearing aid and open the battery door when it is not in use. The batteries will last longer.
  • Keep hearing aid batteries away from children. The batteries can look like candy to children, but batteries are poisonous and can be fatal if swallowed. If you think a child has swallowed a battery, call your local poison control center right away.
  • Keep hearing aids away from pets. Dogs and cats love hearing aids and will eat them quickly if they get a chance.
  • If a hearing aid is damaged or broken, gather as much of the hearing aid as possible. Follow instructions for return and repair.
  • Hearing aids and sports can go together. Ask your audiologist for more information if you play sports.
  • Keep a hearing aid case with you. Do not put your hearing aid in a purse or backpack unprotected because it may become damaged.
  • Check clothes pockets before doing laundry. Hearing aids placed in a pocket are often washed.

If you have questions about how to care for your hearing aid, talk to your audiologist.

Key Points

  • Clean and maintain your hearing aids regularly to keep them working properly.
  • Each type or model of hearing aid is different. Always follow the instructions for your specific device.
  • Protect your hearing aid from common sources of damage including moisture, shock, and hot temperatures.
  • Do not push a wax loop in too far while cleaning a hearing aid. It risks dust and debris being pushed farther inside.
  • Contact an audiologist if you have any questions or concerns about caring for your hearing aid.

Reviewed: September 2022