It’s not uncommon these days to look up on the internet how to fix something that’s broken. Using Google for how-to and do-it-yourself instructions is a great idea; however, it’s important to make sure the advice you seek is legitimate and won’t make things worse. This is especially important when taking care of your hearing aids.

Many Google search results for questions like, “How can I dry my hearing aids?” or “How do I fix noises in my hearing aids?” provide terrible advice that can permanently damage your hearing aids (For example, the answer, “Use a blow dryer to dry out your aids” can melt your devices!).

A compilation of advice from hearing aid and hearing loss associations suggest the following dos and don’ts for hearing aid care:

Hearing aid dos

  • Do turn off your hearing aids before going to bed. A fully charged battery is key to properly functioning hearing aids.
  • Do place your hearing aids in a drying container if they come in contact with moisture. Dryer hearing aids will last longer.
  • Do keep your hearing aids away from excessive heat.
  • Do take your hearing aids out when styling hair. Hair products like hair spray can build up over time and cause issues.
  • Do handle your hearing aids gently. Hearing aids, despite the cost, are not indestructible.
  • Do make sure you have the right battery. Different hearing aids require different types and sizes of batteries. Using the wrong battery will make your hearing aid work poorly.

Hearing aid don’ts

  • Don’t put your hearing aids in water. No matter how dirty they become, the best way to clean your hearing aids is with a dry, soft cloth. For particularly tricky bits of grime, consider using a wax pick on your hearing aids.
  • Don’t lubricate hearing aid parts. If you find that your hearing aids aren’t fitting as well, contact your audiologist. Hearing aids begin to fit poorly when earwax builds up and changes the shape of the ear canal. In children, hearing aids begin to fit poorly as the ear canal grows and changes shape.
  • Don’t use solvents like rubbing alcohol to clean your hearing aids. Using such solutions can short out the hearing aids, causing permanent damage to the sound quality and amplification.

Talk more with your audiologist regarding the proper care and maintenance of your hearing aids. Keeping your devices in optimal shape can increase longevity and ensure they’ll help you hear for an extended time to come.