How long should my battery last?
It is important to note that as soon as the sticker is removed from the battery, air mixes with the zinc and slowly drains the battery. The battery will continue to drain even if it is not in a hearing aid and being used. Keeping it in a fridge or freezer does not extend the life of the battery. If anything moisture is more likely to clog the air holes under the sticker and will shorten the life of the battery.
There are 4 sizes of hearing aid batteries:
smallest are yellow #10, lasting anywhere from 3-4 days (if the battery door is opened at night).
brown #312, lasting 7-10 days
orange #13, lasting 10-14 days
largest blue #675, lasting 3-4 weeks
My hearing aid got wet, what should I do?
Immediately open the battery door, electricity and water do not mix. Take the battery out and put the hearing aids into a sealed jar with rice or silica beads. I often tell my patients to save the "do not eat" packs from new products they purchase, such as shoes or purses, and switch out old packages for new ones they acquire. It doesn't hurt to have them in this jar every night to keep your hearing aids as dry as possible. You can purchase dry kits or jars with drying beads in it by I find that rice or silica bead packs also do the job.
How do I clean my hearing aids and how often should they be cleaned?
Every hearing aid is a little different so I will try to address each one separately:
RIC (Receiver in the canal)
Wipe your hearing aid with a soft cloth removing wax and debris from the housing. Some RICs have a soft silicone dome on the end. You can take this off the hearing aid and wash it with warm soapy water ensuring that it is totally dry before putting it back onto the hearing aid. After taking off the dome you will see a small white wax guard. See the below video for changing the wax guard on most hearing aids.
Make sure that the dome is secure when putting it back onto the hearing aid as I have removed them from people's ears before.
You can also use a soft baby toothbrush to brush debris from the microphones. The microphones are usually found on the part that goes behind the ear and they look like slits or holes. Most RICs have two microphones, one towards the top of the hearing aid and the other one is about halfway down the housing. Most RIC hearing aids have the battery compartment at the bottom of the hearing aid. (The end that doesn't have the wire coming out of it)
Changing the wax guards and brushing the microphones can be done about once a month or more often if you have waxy ears or are exposed to more dusty environments.
You should have your hearing aid professionally cleaned at a hearing clinic as they will vacuum the microphone and receiver as well as replace the receiver and change the microphone covers if needed.
Custom (In the hear): Hearing aids have a hole that goes right through the hearing aid which is called the vent. A clogged vent does not make the hearing aid work less efficiently but it will feel less occluded when the vent is clean. You can clean it with anything thin enough and long enough to fit right through. Your cleaning kit should have a vent cleaner that your hearing professional would have provided.
There are one or two microphones on the faceplate of the hearing aid which can be brushed with a small brush. The wax guard can be changed about once a month as well or as needed when the hearing aid is not sounding as good as it should.