If you experience tinnitus the first person to talk to is your GP.
Keeping Your Hearing Aid Clean During The Coronavirus Pandemic
For those that are deaf or hard of hearing and have a hearing aid, this is another part of the face and head that you will touch other than your mouth, nose or eyes.
So keeping it clean is paramount so that it doesn't collect and hold any bacteria or dirt as we make our way through this pandemic.
Follow The Guidelines Given By Your Hearing Aid Provider
First and foremost, follow the cleaning guidelines you were provided with by your hearing aid provider and listen to any new guidelines given about the coronavirus directly from them in regards to your hearing aid.
Each hearing aid is a little different especially behind the ear hearing aids compared to in the ear hearing aids.
Your audiologist will have given you advice on how to clean each part of the hearing aid.
They will also know your ears and know if there are any specific things you need to do extra. For example if you have a skin condition or if you have a hole in your ear drum and what you should be taking care of.
Don't Use Chemical Products
Don't use chemical products on your hearing aid, any products that are not gentle on your skin will irritate inside and around your ear.
Using bleach or alcohol especially can damage your hearing aid, soap and water and a cloth to wipe down will be enough to keep it clean.
Don't Be Overzelous
When cleaning your hearing aid, it doesn't need much. For example if you have a behind the ear hearing aid with an ear mould, the ear mould (with it's tubing still connected) can be washed in soapy water gently if its not connected to the electronic part that goes behind your ear.
It doesn't need vigorous cleaning with a scouring pad as this could potentially break down the ear mould. Again for the electronic part this only needs a gentle wipe over so you do not need to go over board with the cleaning of your hearing aid as long as you are giving it a good gentle wipe over and cleaning your hands properly before and after you clean your hearing aid.
Wash Your Hands Before Touching Your Hearing Aids
Making sure to wash your hands properly before and after inserting, removing, adjusting or cleaning your hearing aid will also help to prevent the spread of coronavirus as well as keep your hearing aid clean. If you don't have the facility to wash your hands with soap and water at that time use hand sanitising gel which is now much more available in shops and public places as well as carrying in your own hand bag.
Apply Hair and Make Up Prior To Putting Your Hearing Aid In
If part of your daily routine is to use hair spray or apply make up, apply this and let it dry a little before putting your hearing aid in.
If you are to do this the other way around and put your hearing aid in first, it can soon get blocked up with foundation or spray and may cause it to stop functioning.
Keep You Hearing Aid Cleaning Tools Clean
If you have a hearing aid cleaning kit such as a cleaning wire or little brush it is important to keep these clean to not cross contaminate between cleaning sessions.
Therefore give them a good wipe down after using them. It is also important to keep the hearing aid case or box that you keep the hearing aid in clean too.
Invest in a Hearing Aid Dehumidifier
What is a hearing aid dehumidifier I hear you say? This is a device that will help to keep your hearing aid free of moisture which can be a problem when it comes to condensation blocking up hearing aid tubing, hearing aid filters or even in the hearing aid battery compartment.
Electronic hearing aid dehumidifiers are also particularly smart tech and many also disinfect your hearing aid for you too. You can read more about hearing aid dehumidifiers here on our blog post about the best hearing aid dehumidifiers.
Have a Safe Place For Them When Not In Use
When you are issued with your hearing aid you are also issued with a heairng aid box or case. Keeping it in this box (as long as you keep it clean) will help to protect if from day to day debris and dust as well as not making it easily accessible for small children or pets to nibble on it.
You not only want to keep it in it's case but having a safe place spot which you routinely keep it in such as on a shelf or bed side table means that it not only will not get damaged or accidently dropped on if left lying about but means you are also less likely to loose it.
It is also a good idea to keep this "safe place" clean and tidy so that it doesn't accidently get swept up in items of clothing, belongings or rubbish.
For more information keep up to date with coronavirus changes and how it affects people who are Deaf and hard of hearing over on the Action on Hearing Loss website: https://actiononhearingloss.org.uk/coronavirus-response/