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Your hearing aids are switched on and supporting you all day long. To keep them in good working order, it is essential to take care of them properly. In this section, we have lots of great advice on how to keep them in tip top condition.

Important things to know about looking after your hearing aids

Your hearing aids might be small and discreet, but they contain really powerful technology. And while they’re pretty sturdy, it’s important to take care of them to make sure this technology works at its best.
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A few simple things you should do:

  • Put your hearing aid on a soft cloth when you’re cleaning it or changing the battery. This can help stop it being damaged if you knock or drop it by mistake. Plain-coloured cloth will make it easier to see small parts.
  • While hearing aids are water-resistant, they’re not usually waterproof. So don’t wear them when you’re swimming, showering, or in a sauna.
  • Before you put your hearing aids in, make sure your ears are dry.
  • Remove your hearing aids before an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. 
  • Try not to get cosmetics like make-up or hairspray into your hearing aids. If you use products like this, it’s a good idea to put your hearing aids in after you’ve finished getting ready
Keep reading to learn how to clean, dry, and store your hearing aids to keep them at their best.

Drying and storing your hearing aid

Once you’ve cleaned your hearing aids, make sure you dry all the parts before you put them back together. Trapped moisture inside your hearing aids can damage them, and could even stop them working. If your hearing aid does get wet, never dry it using a device like a hairdryer, heater or microwave – high heat like this can soften and distort the plastic parts and damage the technology inside.

To dry your hearing aids properly you should use a drying box or drying pouch. These are available from our online shop. We recommend that you store your hearing aids in a drying box at night. These dry your hearing aids electronically and use a UV light to ensure they’re completely clean. When you use a drying box, leave the battery compartment of each hearing aid open and take the batteries out.
You can also dry your hearing aids with a drying pouch or drying cup. These use silica gel to absorb the moisture, and they’re also available from our online shop.

Because hearing aids are sensitive to moisture, radiation and heat, you should store them in a clean, dry place. Try not to leave them in the kitchen or the bathroom, or near a source of heat. Leaving them in a specific place, out of the reach of children and pets, will keep them safe and make them easier to find when you need them.

Cleaning your hearing aids

It is important to try and clean your hearing aids every day. Luckily, it is quick and easy to do. Whether you have a behind-the-ear hearing aid or one that sit inside the ear, here are some tips on the best way to keep them clean:

How to clean your BTE or RIC hearing aid

The external parts of a BTE hearing aid should be wiped every day with a dry cloth. Your tubing should be changed every 6 months or as instructed by your audiologist. Your hearing aid audiologist will go through this process with you, or you can check the instruction manual that comes with your hearing aids.

How to clean your ITE hearing aid

Wipe your ITE hearing aid using a soft, dry cloth or special moist cleaning wipe. These are available from our online shop. Make sure no liquid gets into the microphone or other openings.

ITE hearing aids have a filter system to make sure that no wax gets inside. This filter system should be changed regularly – your Hearing Aid Audiologist will show you how when your hearing aids are fitted, or you can refer to your instruction manual. You can also remove wax with a small, soft brush – these usually come with your hearing aid or you can purchase them from our shop here.

Extra tips for cleaning your hearing aids:

  • It’s a good idea to check your hearing aid every day for visible marks and wipe them off carefully using a soft, dry or a specialised wipe
  • Don’t use alcohol or other strong cleaning agents or solvents on your hearing aids, as you might damage them – you can buy special hearing aid cleaner from our online shop
  • Don’t use pointed objects like scissors or needles to clean your hearing aids – specially designed cleaning brushes are best
  • Make sure your hands are clean and dry when you clean your hearing aids

Replacing standard and rechargeable batteries

Hearing aids use either standard or rechargeable batteries. It’s important to only use specially designed hearing aid batteries in your hearing aids.

How long the battery lasts depends on a few different things like the hearing aid itself, how long you wear it, and the type of battery the hearing aid uses. Most batteries need changing at least every 5 - 10 days on average. It’s useful to stock up on batteries in bulk so that you always have some spare, just in case – and make sure you bring them with you when you go on holiday! Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place. Did you know that we sell batteries, both single packs and in bulk, at a great price? You can buy them from our online shop.
Some hearing aids are rechargeable, and so they use rechargeable, rather than disposable, batteries. Rechargeable hearing aids come with their own charger, and your Hearing Aid Audiologist will be able to tell you how long you need to charge them for, and how long you can expect a charge to last.

You can read more about hearing aid batteries and rechargeable hearing aids here

How to change your BTE or RIC Battery

How to change your ITE battery

How to change the CeruShield wax filter

How to change the dome on a Audèo M hearing aid

Communicating well

Our charity partners, Action of Hearing Loss have lots of helpful resources on their website including top tips on how you can stay connected and communicating well, here’s some of what they have shared:

You're not alone if you sometimes find communication frustrating or stressful because of your hearing loss. But there are a number of simple things you can do to make it easier.
Tell the person you're speaking to that you lipread before you start a conversation, then follow our simple tips:
  • Whilst it’s important to observe the 2 metre social distancing guidance, don’t stand too far away. Make sure you can see the speaker's face and lips – their gestures and facial expressions will help you to understand what they're saying.
  • If your hearing isn't the same in both ears, make sure you are in the best position to maximise your ‘good side’. Don’t be shy about asking people to change places with you.
  • Ask people to get your attention before they start talking to you.
  • Try to keep calm. If you become anxious or flustered, it will be harder for you to follow what's being said.
  • If you don't catch what someone says the first time, don't be afraid to ask them to repeat it or say it in a different way.
  • If necessary, ask people to slow down and speak more clearly.
  • Don't be too hard on yourself. No one hears correctly all the time.


Everyday life

Undoubtedly, at the moment, we’re all making changes to our lives but there are some other simple steps you can take to help make sure you’re hearing as well as you can, here is some advice provided by our charity partner, Action on Hearing Loss:

Watching TV

Most TV channels have subtitles. Where they are available, you can usually get them by pressing the subtitles button on your remote control, or by pressing the menu button and following the options for language and subtitles.

However, the availability of subtitles can vary when you watch on-demand TV.

Most of the UK’s main broadcasters have an on-demand TV service:

On-demand TV lets you watch what you like, when you like, over the internet. You can catch up with programmes and films you’ve missed, watch entire seasons of your favourite shows, and watch programmes at the time they are broadcast through a live TV stream over the internet.
You can access these on-demand services in different ways:
  • through the TV channel’s website
  • by downloading free apps from Google Play or the App Store onto your smartphone or tablet device
  • through platforms such as YouView and Now TV. 
BBC iPlayer has subtitles available on almost all of its programmes, no matter how you access the service.

The other on-demand services have subtitles available on around 70% to 85% of programmes when you watch through a service's website or app. But subtitles may not be available when you watch these on-demand services through other platforms.

Subtitles are now available on most BBC iPlayer live streams but not, currently, on other channels' live streams.

On-demand subscription services
For a monthly fee (subscription), you can watch a wide range of films and TV programmes online through on-demand services such as NetflixAmazon Prime Video and Now TV.

Before signing up for any of these services, check whether they have subtitles – not all of them do. Many Netflix programmes are subtitled, as are more than half of the programmes on Amazon services.

Problems with subtitles or background noise?
If you find it hard to follow a TV programme because of background noise or music within the programme, or if the subtitles are poor quality, Action on Hearing Loss recommend you let the channel know, giving the date and time that the programme was broadcast. They have a guide on how to write a complaint letter and where to send it, visit actiononhearingloss.org.uk/writeacomplaint

Assistive listening devices for watching TV
If you have to turn up the volume on your TV so loud that it disturbs your family, or you find you're sitting closer and closer to the TV, there are assistive listening devices that allow you to turn down the volume for others, while making it louder and clearer for yourself.

The products include:
  • Wireless headphones – these let you listen at a volume that's suitable for you.
  • TV listeners – these either come with a neckloop for hearing aid users, or stethoset earbuds for people who don’t use hearing aids.
  • Home hearing loop systems – a loop system can help you hear the TV more clearly through your hearing aids when they’re on the loop (or 'T') setting.
  • TV streamers – these small devices send sound from the TV to your hearing aids and allow you to further adjust the volume and pitch of the sound to your preference. You may need to use an intermediary device for the wireless connection.
  • Remote microphones – you can place a small microphone close to your TV’s loudspeaker and it will pick up the sound and send it straight to your hearing aids.


Chatting on the phone
More than ever, we’re all going to be relying on phone calls to keep in touch with loved ones. If you’re struggling to hear what’s being said, it’s a good idea to make sure there’s no background noise when you’re on the call and also time the call for when you’re not too tired. It’s also a good idea to use video calls like Skype or FaceTime so you can use visual cues to help follow the conversation. Alternatively, there are services which will convert what’s being said into a text message, information can be found at relayuk.bt.com.

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