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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.”

That’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, replace the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re attempting to preserve our investment and extend its life.

You should certainly think of hearing aids in the same manner. If you give things a chance to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your maintenance, your hearing aids can carry on and function properly for many years.

So what are some of the things that can go wrong? Here are the three primary threats to your hearing aids and what you can do to defend against them.

1. Physical damage

Opponent # 1 is physical destruction. Hearing aids contain vulnerable electronics that are susceptible to damage from shock. To defend against this, remember to store your hearing aids in their storage cases whenever you’re not using them.

A good rule of thumb is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at any given time. Leaving your hearing aids exposed on any surface is just inviting Murphy’s Law to come and bump them off. Likewise, when you’re putting in or removing your hearing aids, it’s a good idea to do this over a soft surface in the event that they fall.

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

2. Moisture

Electronics and water do not mix, which anyone who’s dropped a mobile phone in the sink understands all too well. Once submerged, there’s very little that can be done. But it takes much less than total submersion in water to ruin your hearing aids.

Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and begin wreaking chaos. Consequently, you should avoid using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while using your hearing aids. Additionally, keep in mind that drastic changes in temperature can generate 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 storing your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can create issues. This is yet another reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the ideal spot to keep your hearing aids when they aren’t being used.

3. Earwax and dirt

Even if you’ve protected your hearing aids against physical damage and water with adequate storage and the avoidance of moisture, you’ll still have 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 components. To guard against this, 1) sustain adequate ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids daily.

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

And finally, consider investing in a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers make use of ultraviolet light to thoroughly kill pathogens, all while supplying a safe place for storage.

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