In-the-Ear (ITE) Hearing Aids
Throughout the day, hearing aids are exposed to moisture through your perspiration and the environment. Although your hearing aids have been treated for moisture protection, accumulation of moisture is harmful to the electronics of the hearing aids. It is important to reverse the daily effects of moisture by storing the hearing aids in a dry environment overnight.
Your audiologist may provide an electronic dryer, called a Dry and Store. This is a special unit that combats the harmful effects of moisture. The Dry and Store is a unit that contains two compartments inside. One compartment holds a disposable desiccant block called a “Dri-Brik”. This Dri-Brick will absorb moisture from the air and the hearing aids inside the unit. It will absorb moisture effectively for 2 months, and then you will have to replace the brick. To activate a brick simply remove the protective covering of the new brick and write the date on the top so you will know when to replace it. The second compartment holds your hearing aids. Underneath this tray is a fan that will circulate warm air through the devices. At night take out your hearing aids, open the battery doors to turn the aids off, and place the aids in the tray. You may keep the batteries in the hearing aids while they are in the Dry and Store. Next, turn on the fan by pressing the power button. A green light will indicate that the unit is on. The fan will run for 8 hours then automatically shut off.
Every morning, you should gently brush the sound openings of the hearing aids with a toothbrush or small hearing aid brush to remove any wax. Also, brush over the microphones on the hearing aids to remove any dust or debris.
You may also use a hearing aid sanitizing solution to remove excess wax and bacteria from your hearing aids. Simply spray this solution onto a tissue or soft paper towel and wipe down the exterior of the hearing aids. It is important to only use hearing aid sanitizer provided by your audiologist. Do not use alcohol or other cleaning agents, as they will damage the hearing aids.
Your hearing aids are equipped with wax guards that will protect the receivers from wax. The wax guards should be replaced every two to four weeks, depending on how much wax your ears produce. Your audiologist will provide you with additional wax guards. To change the wax guards, insert the empty end of the tool straight into the wax guard on the hearing aid. Twist and pull out the black tool. The wax guard should come out with the tool. Next, insert the end of the tool with the new wax guard attached to it straight into the opening of the receiver. Apply pressure, twist, and pull the black tool out. The wax guard should remain in the receiver. To ensure the wax guard is securely in the receiver, press down on it with your finger. Your hearing aids also may have vents, which allow air to pass through the aids into your ear canal. Keep these vents clear of debris by using the black tool with the long wire attached to the end. Simply locate the opening of the vents on the side of the hearing aids where the battery is held and run the black line through this vent to the other side.
Sometimes, your hearing aids may stop working unexpectedly. Usually, you will be able to restore hearing aid function by following these basic troubleshooting techniques.
- Replace the batteries
- When your hearing aids stop working, replace the batteries.
- After replacing the batteries, check to see if the hearing aids are working by either checking for feedback by cupping the aids in your hand or by listening through the hearing aids.
- Check wax guards for blockage
- If changing the battery doesn’t restore hearing aid performance, then check the wax guards for blockage. If debris is present, then sound cannot leave the receiver.
- Remove the debris by replacing the wax guards.
Using these two troubleshooting steps will likely restore your hearing aids. If the hearing aids continue to malfunction, call your audiologist for a hearing aid check.