Earwax has the important jobs of trapping dirt and bacteria as well as lubricating the ear canal to keep the skin from drying out. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. For hearing aid wearers, too much earwax can mean blockages in the hearing aid, leading to sound distortion and whistling.
Below are some helpful tips for cleaning earwax out of different parts of your hearing aid.
First, Buy a Cleaning Kit
If you don’t have a cleaning kit, they can be purchased at PDX ENT or a drugstore like Brooklyn Pharmacy. They range in price from about $7 to $45 depending on the quality and how many tools they include. Typically, kits contain tools such as a soft cloth, wax removal brush, wax pick/wire loop, battery magnet, battery door opener and tube/vent cleaner.
Wipe Down the Shell
In many cases, all you need to do is wipe down the shell with a soft, dry cloth or brush to remove wax. If there’s stubborn wax still visible, use the wax pick/wire loop to gently scrape it off.
Replace Filters/Wax Guards
Many hearing aids come with filters or wax guards, which you can replace at home. The lifespan of these pieces varies from person to person based on how much earwax they produce.
If the earmold or sound bore becomes clogged with earwax, use the wax pick/wire loop to gently scoop it out.
In some hearing aid models, the microphone is also susceptible to earwax blockage. When cleaning out the mic port, be sure not to put anything in too deep or you risk damaging it. Also, be sure to hold the device upside down so wax falls out instead of in.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids have tubing that connects the main part of the device to the earmold, where sound is delivered. You can clean the tubing out by using an air blower or a thin, flexible wire.
For more information about cleaning hearing aids or to visit an audiologist for a repair, call PDX ENT today.