Do not use water on hearing aids. Hearing aids are delicate electronic instruments which function only when kept dry.
Major cleaning is best performed by a hearing aid dispenser.
Earmoulds come in direct contact with the cerumen (wax) producing glands of the ear. Consequently wax accumulation in ears and earmoulds is common.
Wax plugs in the earmould may be removed by using a small wire or needle.
Do not use toothpicks as they may break off in the earmould.
Thorough cleaning requires removal of the earmould from the hearing aid.
Wash the earmould with mild soap and warm water.
There are also some commercial solutions available from a hearing aid dispensing outlet, in which the aid can be soaked overnight, to clean.
Do not use alcohol or ammonia to clean the earmould.
Rinse and blow through the tube to eliminate water and moisture.
A small air blower is available commercially, which is useful to remove all moisture.
Tubing will turn yellow, become brittle and shrink in diameter with age. When tubing shrinks it pulls out of the earmould. Sound quality may also change with shrinkage. Tubing changes are inexpensive and quickly accomplished.
Some BTE hearing aid tubes have a filter in them, which you will be able to see. If the tube has a filter, the earmould cannot be immersed in water. In that case, treat it as you would an ITE mould and simply wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
Some people find that moisture builds up in the tubing and must be removed daily, as it can block out sound.
Moisure can be blown out with a small bulb, or by mouth.
If your ear mold becomes uncomfortable or loose, have the dispenser modify the ear mold so that it fits more comfortably. Note: Feedback (a squealing sound) is often caused by the earpiece not fitting properly.
It is important to keep the end of the earmold (the opening) free of wax. It will be necessary to dislodge wax in the mold with the blunt end of a needle or a paper clip. If the mold becomes dirty, it can be detached from the aid for cleaning purposes. Soak the mold in warm soapy water, or wipe it with a damp cloth. When clean, blow through the tubing to be sure no water is left inside the mold. Check to see if the tubing has a filter. (If you are not sure, ask the dispenser,) If so, do not submerge the mold in water. Wipe it off every night with a piece of tissue.
Behind-the-Ear aids are connected to the earmold by a plastic tube. This tubing may become dry and brittle over time and will have to be replaced by the dispenser periodically.
Some Other Points
The most common problem found with hearing aid users is difficulty in inserting the ear mould.
A second common problem is failure to notify or return to the hearing aid dispenser if not wearing the aid due to some difficulty. After fitting the aid, most dispensers make a follow-up appointment with the client for two weeks after the fitting. Dispensers say that if there is going to be a problem, it generally shows up in the first two weeks.
A hearing aid should be checked every six months or once a year.