Maintain hearing aid properly

With the right cleaning, hearing aids work more reliably. We show what is important - and how to proceed

Hear better: It doesn't matter whether the device is in the ear or outside - but cleaning does. If you clean your hearing aid regularly, you can extend its service life

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No ear is like the other. "Some people produce more ear wax, some less, some have a larger ear canal, and some have a smaller one," says Dr. Christian Haerkötter, hearing aid acoustician from Wiesbaden. All of this plays a role in properly caring for the hearing aid. For example, people with very low ear wax production are less likely to have problems with clogged devices.

However, the following applies to everyone: Careful handling and good care increase the service life of the hearing aid. It can also be financially worthwhile. This is because the health insurance company only covers the repair costs in full for devices that do not have to be paid for. They usually only pay or subsidize a new model every six years.

Well cared for lasts longer

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Behind or in the ear ...

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... care is important for every hearing aid!

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Maintenance by professionals

Christian Haerkötter advises you to have your hearing aid serviced at least two to three times a year. This usually takes about 20 minutes. The experts not only check the individual components, but also the performance of the device in general. Adjustments can be made and better hearing performance can be achieved. "For this reason alone, the maintenance visit is worthwhile for many of our customers," says Haerkötter.

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The basic cleaning

This should be done once or, better, twice a week. This is particularly important for more delicate in-the-ear devices, as the side facing the inner ear receives little ventilation. For cleaning purposes, cleaning cloths are suitable for removing visible deposits, as well as cleaning brushes and a spray that emits a disinfecting liquid and is often provided with fine brushes itself.

"Cleaning is important because the body secretes salts that attack the material and the technology," says Eberhardt Schmidt, Vice President of the Federal Guild of Hearing Aid Acousticians.

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The cleaning bath

Regular cleaning can be supplemented with a cleaning bath. However, this only applies to those parts of the hearing aid where the electronics do not extend to the outside - i.e. for the molded fitting (otoplastic) or the umbrella.

There are two variants of baths, both are similarly effective: In the ultrasonic bath residues are removed by extremely fast vibrations. Chemical processes take effect in a cleaning bath with special tabs.

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The filter replacement

There are two parts of the hearing aid that have to be open to the outside in order to be able to perform their function: the microphone and the loudspeaker. Both are protected from hair, sweat, dust, moisture and ear wax by special filters. They should be replaced regularly, every few weeks if the earwax production is heavy or soiled. You can have your hearing care professional show you exactly how to do this.

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The batteries

Most hearing aids have button cells that should be replaced about once a week if used daily. "The best thing is to choose a fixed weekday and then always change the battery before going to bed," advises Schmidt.

Many devices emit a warning tone when the battery is low. Some are equipped with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that charges when it comes into contact with a charging station. These batteries have a lifespan of a few years and are usually replaced as part of maintenance.

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The dry box

We recommend placing the hearing aid in a dry box overnight. "In this way, the technology is dried out, which makes the entire device more robust," explains the expert Schmidt.

There are different methods: fans, UV light, desiccants. All variants serve their purpose. Those with UV light are a tad more effective, but the difference isn't that big. "A dry box significantly extends the life of the hearing aid," says Schmidt.


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