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Man holding a behind-the-ear hearing aid

Murphy’s Law informs us that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” A better version might be that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance.”

In terms of vehicle maintenance, that’s the reason we change the oil in our cars, replace the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re attempting to protect our investment and prolong its life.

You should consider hearing aids in the same manner. If you give things an opportunity to go wrong, they will; but if you’re proactive in your care and maintenance, your hearing aids can endure and perform properly for several years.

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

1. Physical damage

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

An effective rule of thumb is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at all times. Leaving your hearing aids unprotected 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 they fall.

Additionally, remember to check and replace the batteries often. You’re not doing the electronics any favors by forcing the hearing aids operate on low battery power.

2. Moisture

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

Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and begin causing havoc. Consequently, you should avoid using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while wearing your hearing aids. Also, keep in mind that extreme changes in temperature can create condensation, for instance moving from a climate-controlled room to the outdoors. If this happens, make sure to dry off any moisture that develops.

We also suggest not storing your hearing aids in the bathroom, as the condensation can generate problems. This is yet another reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the ideal spot to keep your hearing aids when they aren’t in use.

3. Earwax and dirt

Even if you’ve protected your hearing aids against physical damage and water with adequate storage and the prevention of moisture, you’ll still need to protect against opponent # 3: dirt and grime.

Earwax, dust, and debris can accumulate on the hearing aids, clogging the speakers, ports, and other components. To defend against this, 1) sustain adequate ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids every day.

Regarding cleaning and sanitizing your hearing aids, ensure that you use only the equipment provided by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional can supply cleaning kits and instructions exclusively for your type of hearing aids.

Finally, think about investing in a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers use ultraviolet light to comprehensively kill pathogens, all while supplying a safe place for storage.

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