Open-Ear BTE Hearing Aids
Throughout the day, hearing aids are exposed to moisture through your perspiration and the environment. Although your hearing aids have been treated for moisture protection, accumulation of moisture is harmful to the electronics of the hearing aids. It is important to reverse the daily effects of moisture by storing the hearing aids in a dry environment overnight.
Your audiologist may provide an electronic dryer, called a Dry and Store. This is a special unit that combats the harmful effects of moisture. The Dry and Store is a unit that contains two compartments inside. One compartment holds a disposable desiccant block called a “Dri-Brik”. This Dri-Brick will absorb moisture from the air and the hearing aids inside the unit. It will absorb moisture effectively for 2 months, and then you will have to replace the brick. To activate a brick simply remove the protective covering of the new brick and write the date on the top so you will know when to replace it. The second compartment holds your hearing aids. Underneath this tray is a fan that will circulate warm air through the devices. At night take out your hearing aids, open the battery doors to turn the aids off, and place the aids in the tray. You may keep the batteries in the hearing aids while they are in the Dry and Store. Next, turn on the fan by pressing the power button. A green light will indicate that the unit is on. The fan will run for 8 hours then automatically shut off.
Every morning, you should gently brush the domes or custom earmolds and tube openings with a toothbrush or small hearing aid brush to remove any wax. Also, brush over the microphones on the hearing aids to remove any dust or debris.
You may also use a hearing aid sanitizing solution to remove excess wax and bacteria from your earpiece. Simply spray this solution onto a tissue or soft paper towel and wipe down the exterior of the earpieces and hearing aids. It is important to only use hearing aid sanitizer provided by your audiologist. Do not use alcohol or other cleaning agents as they will damage the hearing aids.
Sometimes, your hearing aids may stop working unexpectedly. Usually, you will be able to restore hearing aid function by following these basic troubleshooting techniques.
- Replace the batteries
- When your hearing aids stop working, replace the batteries.
- After replacing the batteries, check to see if the hearing aids are working by either checking for feedback by cupping the aids in your hand or by listening through the hearing aids.
- Check the domes or custom earmolds and tubing for blockage
- If changing the battery doesn’t restore hearing aid performance, then check the domes and tubing for blockage. If there is debris in the tubing, then sound cannot leave the sound opening.
- If debris is stuck in the tubing, you can use a thin wire to clean the tubing.
- If your hearing aids are fit with domes, start by removing the domes from the tubing. Photo 41 If you have custom earmolds, it is not necessary to remove the earmolds.
- Then, remove the tubing from the hearing aids. Some tubing can be snapped off, while others need to be screwed off.
- Take the thin piece of plastic wire provided by your audiologist and slowly push it through the entire tube. This should remove any debris inside. If you prefer, you can also use a forced air blower to remove debris or moisture from the tubing. Insert the tip into the tubing and squeeze several times until the debris has been removed. Ask your audiologist for a forced air blower if one has not been provided.
- Snap or screw the tubing back onto the hearing aids and push the domes back onto the tubing.
Using these two troubleshooting steps will likely restore your hearing aids. If the hearing aids continue to malfunction or if the tubing is hard and cannot be easily removed for cleaning, call your audiologist for a hearing aid check.