Clear, practical advice on daily living equipment
It is important that you look after your hearing aid/s and clean them regularly. This will prolong their life and make sure they are in good working order when you come to use them.
There are two main types of hearing aid.
Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
Ideally, you should wipe the earmould with a soft dry cloth daily and remove and wash the earmould and tubing (NOT the hearing aid itself!) in warm soapy water and then rinse them on a weekly basis. Leave the mould and tubing to dry before fitting them back onto your aid. If you do not know how to disconnect the tubing from your hearing aid consult the organisation who supplied it. If you have two hearing aids, make sure that you know which earmould belongs to which hearing aid so that you can put them back together properly. 3,4
The tubing on your hearing aid will need to be changed every three to six months before it hardens, splits or causes problems. Your hearing aid centre or dispenser will advise you on how to change the tubing, or do this for you. 3
In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
This type of hearing aid has no earmould to detach. The entire aid should be cleaned with a dry cloth. Make sure that it does not come into contact with any liquid. Often the aid comes with a wax pick, which is a small piece of equipment for removing wax from the opening at the end of the hearing aid. The instructions that come with the hearing aid should say in detail how to clean it. 3
If you have an NHS hearing aid, new batteries are supplied free of charge. You can obtain new batteries from any NHS hearing aid centre but need to take your hearing aid record book with you for the audiologist to see which batteries you need and record how many batteries they give you. Someone else can collect batteries for you as long as they take your record book. Alternatively, you may be able to obtain batteries from the hearing aid centre by post or at a local health centre, ask your hearing aid centre for details. 2,3
Hearing aid battery testers and tools to help you extract and replace the battery are available.
Many hearing aids have the battery compartment at the bottom of the hearing aid. If you push a little ridge then the battery swivels out into view as shown by the photo to the right. When replacing the battery follow the hearing aids instruction manual carefully. Many hearing aid batteries come with a paper tab stuck to the battery. This tab prevents the battery from draining while it is being stored. When you install the battery remove the paper tab.
To prolong the battery life switch off your hearing aid when not in use. If your not going to use it for a long period of time, you should remove the battery.1,2
Different hearing aid battery manufacturers have different names for the same battery. For a cross reference chart of battery names visit the wikipedia entry on hearing aid batteries
Any individual involved in the supply of hearing aids must be registered with the health and care professions council. Check their register
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All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
Conflict of interest statement