When the weather is hot and sticky like it is at the moment, your hearing aids can struggle. That’s why in times like these, it’s even more important to keep your hearing aids clean. Any time you are near your clinic, drop in for a clean, of course. But if you can’t make it in, here are some tips on cleaning your devices.
First, do this
The first thing to do is to clean the body of the device. We recommend getting alcoholic wipes or rubbing alcohol with a tissue. Simply wipe the device down, cleaning off any sweat or moisture. Wipe the bottom of the hearing aid and battery contacts for rechargeable devices. This helps prevent issues connecting to the charger and preventing your hearing aids from charging. You can also use a cotton bud in the charger holes to clean the contacts.
Next, find the little black brush that would have come with your hearing devices. If you don’t have one, you can get a new brush from your Falls of Sound local clinic. Use the brush to go over the microphones of your hearing aid and clear out any dead skin. These might be holes at the top of the device and in the centre. You’ll find small slots on the faceplate near the battery door on in-the-ear devices. Simply brush the microphones a few times to dislodge and remove any debris which could block the sound from coming in.
From here, it gets very personal! Different hearing aids have other parts depending on the person wearing them. You might have plastic domes on the end or larger custom-made earmoulds. If your hearing aid is in the ear, you may not have either. Read on for the full breakdown of each type.
If you are wearing soft plastic pieces that are either grey, white or see-through, these are called “domes”. Domes come in various shapes and sizes and can be purchased at your local Falls of Sound clinic. You can extend the life of your domes longer by cleaning them with rubbing alcohol. But in this case, make sure you are removing the dome and clearing any wax buildup.
To remove the dome, simply grab it as the base – under the flappy part – and peel it off. Those wearing Signia X or NX devices may have “click domes” with a hard white base. Those click off as opposed to peeling off. We recommend using a tissue to grab the dome at the base for better grip, then twist to the side.
Unless your hearing aid has a see-through tube, you should find a small white piece under the dome. This is a wax filter designed to prevent wax from getting inside the speaker of your hearing aid. You can also purchase packets of wax filters from your Falls of Sound clinic. Take one of the sticks out of the packet. You will see an empty end and a white piece on the other side. Stick the empty end into the filter of the hearing aid – straight in and straight out. The filter will come off on the stick. Once the filter is off, simply turn the stick around, insert the new filter straight in, and pull it straight out.
Signia X and NX devices will have sticks that need to be “screwed” into the filter to come off. Phonak Paradise and Lumity wearers will instead have a small disk with numbers 1 and 2 written. Twist the disk until you find an empty slot 1 with a white filter in slot 2. Then, as straight as possible, stick the end of the hearing aid into slot one and pull it back out. You should see the old filter now lodged in slot 1. Repeat the process on slot number 2 to insert the new filter in the device.
And once you’ve changed the filter, simply replace the dome on the end of the hearing aid. Those with click domes need to push a bit harder and hear or feel a “click”. Then give the dome a bit of a tug to ensure it is in place, and voila!
Earmoulds and custom In-The-Ear hearing aids
If your devices have an earmould or are in the ear, the process is even simpler! At the end of the mould or device is a small white piece, which is the wax filter. You can purchase packets of wax filters from your Falls of Sound clinic. Take one of the sticks out of the packet. You will see an empty end with a white piece on the other. Stick the empty end into the filter of the hearing aid or mould – straight in and straight out. The filter will come off on the stick. Once the filter is off, simply turn the stick around, insert the new filter straight in, and pull it straight out. And you are done!
Those wearing earmoulds with a large thick tube won’t have a filter to change. You can clean out the tubes with a special thread, however we will show you how in the clinic. Furthermore, we will sometimes need to replace the tubing to keep it flexible. So don’t hesitate to come in for your clean and checks, and just keep the hearing aid clean.
Your three monthly clean and checks
Especially at the moment, keeping your hearing aids clean is super important. The smallest amount of wax can get stuck in a dome, filter or speaker and stop sound completely. And if you are unsure about changing domes and filters yourself, we’re here to help! So we will send you reminders every three months to come to get your devices cleaned. You’re welcome to come in sooner however if you are in the area or the hearing aid stops working.
You don’t need an appointment, our front-of-houses team will look after you. And if you or your loved ones have hearing aids bought from a different clinic, don’t worry! We can offer annual care plans to look after your devices or pay-as-you-go clean and checks. If you have any questions, just give us a call or drop in!