Hearing aids must be properly maintained in order to ensure that they work properly. Your audiologist should provide information on how to care for the devices (see hearing aid maintenance). Ask them if you should have listening tubes, battery testers, forced air blowers, and drying containers if you do not already have them. Hearing aids come with numerous myths that those who have never used them consistently promote. Caring for your hearing aids requires for you to be aware of the most important hearing aid facts to ensure your hearing is as healthy (see ear care to protect hearing) as possible.
Check battery levels weekly. Depending on the hearing aid, batteries should last about 1 or 2 weeks. Use a battery tester to investigate the strength of the batteries. Generally, the lower the battery level, the lower the performance of the device. Always carry backup batteries with you and store them in a cool, dry place. Remove batteries before placing hearing aids in storage containers.
Your audiologist should discuss with you how to perform listening checks, including how to listen for intermittency and internal feedback. You should listen to the hearing aids daily and talk to your audiologist if you have any concerns. You can use a listening tube to make sure the devices produce a clear sound.
Hearing aids should be regularly cleaned using a soft, dry cloth. Remove any dirt or earwax from the earmolds (which can usually be detached from the hearing aid) and dry them completely before reassembling. Different hearing aids may require different cleaning methods. Talk to your audiologist about cleaning your specific device.
Minimize moisture in the hearing aids. Moisture can gradually build up inside of the devices and make them stop working properly. Keeping them dry will lengthen their life.
Feedback is the “whistling” sound that you may hear from your hearing aids. Feedback is produced when amplified sounds from the ear mold reenter the microphone. If you hear feedback, the hearing aid may not be properly seated in your ear, the ear mold may be an incorrect size, or there may be too much earwax in the ear. Talk to you audiologist if you start to hear feedback. A more temporary fix may be reducing the volume.