QUESTION I notice the earmold for my behind-the-ear hearing aid gets dirty. Is there a way to clean the earmold?
ANSWER: One of the advantages of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids is that the earmold can be detached from the hearing aid and cleaned thoroughly. These suggestions only apply to BTE hearing aids and not to in-the-ear hearing aids. Earmolds are an integral part of BTE hearing instruments. Cleaning the earmolds allows the sound to proceed from the hearing aid into the ear properly. If you have a BTE hearing aid, follow these instructions for a safe and thorough cleaning process for better hearing:
1. Disconnect the earmold tubing from the hearing instruments, taking care to keep the left and right instruments separate. The earmold tubing tends to get hard and brittle over time. If it is difficult to separate the earmold from the hearing aid, the tubing likely needs to be replaced by an audiologist.
2. Wash only the earmolds in lukewarm water using a mild soap. Do not use strong detergents or alcohol. Remember: the hearing instruments themselves must never be washed, as they can become damaged.
3. To remove hardened wax in the tubing, try using a small pipe cleaner to gently dislodge and remove wax (or moisture). This also works well for small vents in the earmold.
4. Rinse well with water. The water can be run right through the tube to make sure it is clear.
5. Clear any remaining moisture from the tubing by using an earmold air blower. Audiology clinics and pharmacies sell these.
6. Carefully reconnect the tubing to the hearing aid to ensure proper orientation.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the HearSay Speech and Hearing Centre to speak to one of our audiologists (905)875-3345.