Hearing aids are complex devices that need to be cared for properly. If you make an effort to keep yours clean and out of harm's way, they will remain in good condition for many years. Here are five things to avoid with your devices:
Hearing aids cannot be put into a bag with rice when they are wet in the hopes that the rice will dry them out like many cell phones. Unfortunately, almost any degree of moisture can cause serious damage to your devices. It's important to keep them away from situations in which they may get wet. For example, always be sure to remove your hearing aids before getting in the shower, swimming or taking a bath. To help yourself remember to do so, you can leave your case in the bathroom where you will see it as you are getting ready to take a shower. Keep your case with you at all times so you can remove it in the event that it starts raining or you are in need of a safe place to store your devices.
Humidity and perspiration can also cause issues. People who live in places with high humidity may want to purchase a special kit to help their hearing aids dry out in between uses. Talk with your hearing aid specialist or audiologist to see if you should consider buying such a tool. If you work out with your devices in or find yourself sweating a great deal, be sure to wipe off both your aids and ears with a clean towel. Keep your aids out of your ears for several minutes to allow any leftover moisture to evaporate from the device and your ears before reinserting them.
One of the major reasons a hearing aid can become dysfunctional is that it has been dropped. People who are not dexterous and have difficulty removing or inserting their devices are particularly prone to accidentally dropping their devices. To prevent such an accident, always remove and insert your aids over a soft surface like a bed. This way, if you lose your grip on the aid, it will not land on the hard ground and become damaged.
It can be tempting to slip your hearing aid into your pocket if you do not have the case handy, but this is a very dangerous move. You may accidentally sit on the aid or put it through the washing machine. If you are not wearing the device, always put it in your case for safekeeping.
Some people have a hard time remembering where they have placed their hearing aids. To be sure you always know where your devices are, place them in their case in the same spot when you are not wearing them, such as on a nightstand or in the bathroom cabinet. Whenever you take out your hearing aids, put them in that designated spot. You will be able to find them when you wake up or if you have to remove them to shower.
Hearing aids are made of materials that can be affected by intense temperatures. Don't leave your aids in a hot car or wear them while using a hair dryer. If you have a job that requires you to spend time inside a walk-in freezer, be sure to remove your aids before entering.
If you have cats or dogs, be sure to keep their wandering tongues away from your devices. The oils and wax from your ears often appeal to pets, who may decide to make a quick snack out of your hearing aids. Prevent this by storing your devices in a hard case in the the safety of a drawer to keep them out of harm's way.
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If you are concerned about hearing loss, for yourself or someone important to you, the audiologists and hearing health care professionals at AccuQuest can help. Contact your local AccuQuest Hearing Center to schedule a hearing test and consultation.
If you want to know more about how your hearing works, hearing loss and hearing aids, how hearing aids work or why it is a good idea to see an audiologist or hearing health care professional, click here to view and download your own copy of AccuQuest's Journey to Better Hearing.