Just like any other device you own or wear, hearing aids and hearing amplifiers too need proper care and maintenance. While a trained hearing aid care professional is necessary for specific maintenance aspects, there are other measures you can follow to ensure your hearing aid keeps functioning smoothly. In fact, timely care and maintenance can save you from expensive and time consuming repairs.
Why hearing aid care is important
Taking care of your hearing aid is important due to the following reasons
- Retain ideal hearing condition
- Ensure good hygiene standard of the hearing aid
- Increase the life of the device
- Improve its performance
Costs of hearing aid repairs
Hearing aids are subject to wear, damage and can stop working without any clear reason. In spite of following the care and maintenance procedures to the letter by keeping the hearing aid clean, dry and avoiding damage, you may still have to deal with one or more of the following issues:
- Receivers can stop working due to long term exposure to wax, wear and oil
- The casing can break or crack
- Short circuits can occur
With hearing aids, you have to consider repairs during some part of the device’s life span. Although in general the expenses on repairs are high, they are mostly dependent on
- The hearing aid type
- Repair type or part that needs to be replaced
The warranty cover
Warranty helps to manage the repair costs to some extent. The standard warranty time for hearing aids given by the manufacturer ranges from one to two years for missing or broken pieces.
One year is the standard cover for complete replacement of hearing aid.
All of our hearing aids also come with a warranty ranging from 12 to 36 months.
During the warranty period the responsibility for the deductibles will be yours. The deductible paid for replacement can be huge to the tune of several hundreds of dollars.
Since the precise terms of the warranty and accompanying conditions can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, you have to read them with care.
Consider an extended warranty
If the warranty term is nearing its expiry date, consider taking an extended warranty cover for the hearing aid. This will be handy, especially if your hearing aid is still in good condition. Generally the extended warranty spans over two years. The terms are mostly identical to the initial warranty.
Why an extended warranty?
On expiry of the regular warranty, you will have to bear the cost of replacement or repair. Further since hearing aids usually last for five years or more, you will have to shell out money towards the inevitable repair and maintenance.
Insurance also helps
In addition to extended warranty, you can also consider taking an insurance cover that private parties provide. These are not expensive.
In case you own a premium quality hearing aid with advanced features and anticipate using the hearing aid for 7 years or more, adding it to your renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance cover is a prudent move. Many homeowners’ policies have provision for adding hearing aid cover to the existing policy.
Approximate repair costs for hearing aids
The costs you have to pay out of your pocket for your hearing aid include the following
- The cost is negligible when the hearing aid needs minor repairs like replacement tubing, adjustments or deep cleaning.
- For repairs that require sending the hearing aid out for the repair such as damaged pieces or sound competency failure or other related faults, the cost will be high.
- For mechanical faults such as defect in receiver, microphone etc., the costs range from $300 to $400
- For replacement of shell or recasing, the cost ranges from $500 to $600.
These are approximate costs and can differ based on the particular model of hearing aid and features present. Fortunately a few replacement parts like casings have warranties of their own.
For repairs that the regular hearing aid specialist is unable to deal with, there are independent labs you can send the hearing aid to for repair. Although sending the device can cost you, it will be less than what you pay for replacing the part.
The costs of repair or replacement may seem quite expensive. Nevertheless whatever amount you spend, consider it as an investment for your optimal hearing capability. The investment just like other investment you do will benefit you by improving your hearing and general well-being.
Hearing aid maintenance: top 3 things to do on a regular basis
Did you recently have a hearing aid fitted? Hearing aids have become quite expensive now. This is because of the ultra-sensitive electronics used in the devices. The small devices are delicately built hence need meticulous routine care for functioning optimally.
But maintenance is not as difficult as you would think, considering the intricate electronics used. However you have to be consistent in your maintenance routine, if you want your hearing aid to work efficiently for its intended life span.
Here are top 3 things you can do on a regular basis to ensure the working efficiency and longevity of your hearing aid.
Keep a regular cleaning schedule
Allot a specific time in your regular day for cleaning the hearing aid. This is necessary as hearing aid is often clogged by dirt, moisture or earwax during its previous working cycle. Cleaning is simple and quick. Here are a few tips:
- Use the cloth provided with the hearing aid for cleaning or a soft and dry cloth and tools made specifically for cleaning the electronic parts in the device.
- For the earmold, washing with a mild soap and rinsing it with water is necessary.
- Air-dry the earmold or make use of air blower. Avoid using blow dryer.
- After the earmold is completely dry, you can reattach it.
Protect from moisture
Moisture is the worst enemy of your hearing aid, especially the electronic components in it. This is because of the ear canal’s moist environment, presence of precipitation and humidity in the atmosphere and body sweat all of which can affect the hearing aid. To protect from such moisture exposure, you can try ways such as
- Removing the hearing aid before you do strenuous physical activity
- Avoiding going out during rainy days
- Covering your head with a hat
If the hearing aid does get wet in spite of taking the necessary precautions, remove the battery and dry it with a soft cloth and store it in a container. Make sure the container is a dry one.
Routinely check your device
Check whether your hearing aid works properly. Use the audiologist instructions and listening tube to check the clarity and strength of the sound as opposed to hearing weak, scratchy or intermittent sounds. If you detect any issues, consult your audiologist and have it repaired or adjusted by a professional.
The three simple tips above are sufficient to ensure your hearing aid is in top condition. Diligent, responsible and careful maintenance are vital for a proper hearing aid.
Moisture in hearing aids: What causes it and how to prevent it
Water is the archenemy of hearing aids. While you would be familiar with the common protective measures like not using the hearing aid in the pool, shower or while washing your face there are other ways that moisture can attack.
Humidity, even if you cannot see it, can cause irreparable damage to your hearing aid. The present day hearing aids use advanced signal processing chips for managing noise resulting in targeted listening, noise reduction and digital streaming of sound. With exposure to moisture due to humidity, the chips and battery in the device get damaged.
Tips to prevent humidity and moisture from damaging your hearing aids
- While purchasing a hearing aid, make sure you choose a water resistant model. This can offer a good level of protection during wet weather and humidity but direct exposure like swimming should be avoided.
- Use home or room dehumidifiers to reduce the moisture levels inside your home. Additionally you can also be free of mold, mildew and dust mites that flourish in moist environment.
- A special dehumidifier for hearing aids like the moisture and hearing aid dryer can be of more help. You can find a dryer that fits your budget. The dehumidifier uses crystals made of silica gel for protecting the electronics.
- Storage containers with special drying feature is also a good option.
- Uncooked rice is also a handy way to remove moisture from your hearing aid if you cannot access the above mentioned ways.
- While storing the device always keep the battery door in open condition. This will allow moisture to evaporate and keep the device dry all year round.
- Make sure you store the hearing aid in a dry and cool place. Avoid spaces like hot room, glove compartment or table under direct sunlight.
Hearing aid dryer: electric or non-electric
Dehumidifiers are recommended by hearing care professionals for keeping the hearing aid dry and in good working condition. Moisture and hearing aid dryers are ideal for storing the hearing device during night when you are not using it. The dryers are designed for removing moisture from the hearing aids. The moisture and hearing aid dryers are of two types
- Electric hearing aid dryer: This type of dryers needs electricity to dry the hearing aid. A fan helps to dry the moisture.
- Non Electric hearing aid dryer: Non electric dryers use gel or desiccant for moisture absorption.
Our recommended hearing aid dryer is the Audionexx Hearing Aid Dryer.
You can also read our review in our article about the best hearing aid dryer.
With some tender loving and care you can easily keep your hearing device working in good condition for its lifetime without much hassle. Contact us for more info on hearing aid care and maintenance.
The Audionexx Hearing Aid Dryer comes with 3 different drying sequences for every situation and level of moisture: 3h, 6h, 9h.
Also it comes with an integrated battery tester and a 15 minute UV light drying sequence, that kills off bacteria, that can be switched on or off.
The perforated bottom increases airflow which pulls more moisture from the hearing aid.