Hearing aid care is very important. For some, hearing aids are the only way to enjoy the music and sounds of the world around us. A well kept hearing aid will last longer and provide better quality sound (and thus life) for you or your loved one. William Murphy of Rivanna Hearing Aid Center in Charlottesville Virginia explains proper hearing aid care in his Hearing Aids 101 video.
William explains that there could be two reasons a hearing aid doesn’t work – the battery or wax. First, we need to find out if the hearing aid is working. William suggests putting the battery in and cupping it in your hand. The hearing aid will sing (newer ones have a 15 second delay).
The battery could be dead, installed backwards or just wet. When buying a replacement battery, William suggests looking at the color of the battery rather than the model number. “The number changes according to the manufacturers,” says William. But they always have the same color – the most common are orange and brown.
In order to ensure that the battery is installed properly, he advises installing it with the plastic tab still intact. This gives you a visual when you’re installing the battery and ensures that it is done correctly. “If you leave the tab on,” William says, “you’ll always have the battery oriented the way it should be.” Pull the tab off when you’re ready to use the battery. If you do put it in backwards, the door will pop off.
Every night, the battery door should be opened when the hearing aid is removed so that the battery (and the inside of the hearing aid) can dry out. “It also gives the battery a chance to stop drawing power,” says William.
The last bit of advice about batteries William gives is to change the hearing aids in both If you have two hearing aids, change the batteries at the same time.
If one hearing aid that works and another that does, test to find out if it’s a wax or battery problem. William advises you to take the battery out of the working one and try it in the “broken” one. If it doesn’t work, you most likely have a wax problem. “80% of the issues you have with a hearing aid can be fixed in house,” says William.
There are two main places where wax builds up – the part that goes down into the ear, where the “speakers” are; and on the microphone part on the outside, where the sound goes out. William says the best way to clean the wax off a hearing aid is with a dry toothbrush. “Clean it in the morning, not the evening,” he says. In the morning, the wax is dry and will flake right off. Just remember to brush the hearing aid over the top of the dry toothbrush so the dry wax flakes fall down over the brush rather than into the hearing aid.
Even more advice…
William has even more tidbits of advice in the video above – take a moment to watch him explain proper hearing aid care and ensure that you or your loved ones have the best-cared-for hearing aids in the area.
For more information about hearing aids and other hearing devices, visit our Hearing Services page at Care is There.
Meet William Murphy
Learn more about William Murphy and Rivanna Hearing Aid Center at Care is There.
For more articles like this, see: Assistive Technology, Care for the Caregiver, Communicating with Senior Citizens, Hearing Loss.
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Elizabeth Swider, Geriatric Care Manager, Certified Senior Advisor
President, Care is There Geriatric Care Management
Support for independent living and long distance caregiving; assisted living enhancement