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How do I clean my Hearing Aids?
Did you know that just by putting your new open ear hearing in your ear one time you can make it fail to work? It’s true. Therefore, it is very important to learn the proper care and cleaning tips which follow.
Open fit hearing aids fall into two categories with regard to maintenance, RIC (Receiver- In-Canal) and non-RIC.
RIC hearing aids:
These have a small electronic speaker (called a receiver) on the end of the tube that is placed in the ear canal. This component makes sound right next to your eardrum. Usually a mushroom shaped dome is fitted over the receiver with a very snug fit. The dome will need to be removed by pulling on the center part that is stretched over the receiver.
Once the dome is off it should be inspected closely for blockages. Many domes have a very fine grid or screen in them to prevent wax and moisture from getting into the receiver. Clean the screen carefully with a brush before placing it back onto the receiver so that it cannot be pulled off easily.
Some manufacturers have a replaceable wax guard over the end of the receiver. These come in packs of 5 to 10 each with a tool for easy removal and replacement.
Non-RIC Hearing Aids:
On non-RIC aids, the receiver is kept in the behind the ear case and sound travels through a hollow tube into your ear canal which means there is very little chance of wax getting into the receiver. However, the tubes can still become plugged and no sound will come out.
The tubes either snap on or screw onto the hearing aid. Start by twisting the tube, where it connects to the hearing aid, counter-clockwise ¼ turn. If the tube detents into this position it is a snap on tube, so simply pull it off. If the tube continues to turn easily it is threaded onto the hearing aid and will simply unscrew.
Once the tube is disconnected from the hearing aid a simple remedy is to blow through the tube from the end that was connected to the hearing aid. If you can feel the airflow, by putting your fingertip close to the dome end, then the tube is clear and ready to be reinstalled.
If the tube is plugged use a short piece of monofilament line, heavy test fishing line, to push through it to unplug it.
It is a good idea to have extra non-RIC tubes, domes, and wax guards (for hearing aids that use them) on hand along with extra batteries.
Do one at a time so you do not get mixed up by putting a left side tube on a right side hearing aid or vice versa.