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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, switch out the filters, and rotate the tires. We’re trying to preserve our investment and stretch its life.

You should certainly consider hearing aids in a similar 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 several years.

So what are some of the things that can go wrong? The following are the three main 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, remember to store your hearing aids in their storage cases whenever you’re not using them.

A good guideline is that your hearing aids should be either in your ears or in the storage case at any given time. Leaving your hearing aids unprotected on any surface is just asking for Murphy’s Law to come and knock 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.

Additionally, take the time to check and replace the batteries frequently. You’re not doing the electronics any favors by having the hearing aids operate on low battery power.

2. Moisture

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

Water, in the form of mist, can still work its way into the hearing aids and start wreaking havoc. As a result, you should avoid using hairspray, insect spray, or any other sprays while using your hearing aids. Additionally, remember that drastic changes in temperature can generate condensation, for example 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 create problems. This is another reason that your bedside table drawer is probably the ideal spot to store your hearing aids when they aren’t in use.

3. Earwax and dirt

Even if you’ve defended 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, dirt, and debris can build up on the hearing aids, clogging the speakers, ports, and other parts. To guard against this, 1) sustain adequate ear hygiene, and 2) clean and sanitize your hearing aids daily.

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

And finally, think about acquiring a hearing aid sanitizer. Sanitizers make use of ultraviolet light to thoroughly kill dangerous pathogens, all while supplying a safe place for storage.

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