Caring for your Hearing Aid - A guide to Hearing Loss

It is important to look after your hearing aid as this will ensure that it stays in good working order and helps to maintain it for a very long time.

Your hearing specialist will have given you advice on caring for your hearing aid and it is important that you follow this advice. This means switching it off when not in use to preserve the battery and cleaning it every day. The things to be aware of are cleaning your hearing aid, batteries and the ear mould.

Cleaning: behind the ear hearing aids

If you have this type of hearing aid then try the following:

  • Remove the ear mould and tubing from the hearing aid and gently pull the plastic tubing from the hooked part (elbow) of the hearing aid.
  • Do not remove the hooked part of the hearing aid.
  • Wash the tubing and ear mould in warm, soapy water to remove any ear wax, and then rinse this off.
  • Leave these to dry before re-connecting them to the hearing aid.
  • Wipe the hearing aid with a soft cloth but don’t get any water on the hearing aid. Do not use any cleaning solutions as these can damage the aid.

If you have two hearing aids then make sure you know which part belongs to which aid when you have to re-connect everything.

Cleaning: in the ear hearing aids

This is slightly easier as there is no detachable ear mould to worry about.

Clean the whole of the hearing aid with a soft cloth but do not allow it to come into contact with any water.

This aid may come with a ‘wax pick’ –a small piece of plastic which enables you to remove ear wax from the hearing aid.

Both of these types of hearing aids will have instructions on how to clean and care for them.


It is a good idea to have spare batteries to hand. If you are concerned about the batteries running out whilst you are in an important meeting then put a new battery in.

How do you know if battery power is low?

Your hearing aid may give you a warning in the form of a ‘bleeping’noise when the power is low. If not then indications of a low battery are crackling, fuzzy or faint sounds from your hearing aid.

If you have an NHS hearing aid then you will be given new batteries. These are available from any NHS hearing aid centre or a local health centre. Your hearing specialist will be able to give you details of hearing centres and battery collections.

When you attend an NHS hearing aid centre then remember to take your old batteries with you. You should also have a notebook which came with your hearing aid for staff to record which batteries you need, what you have used so far.

If you choose to buy a hearing aid from a private dispenser then you will have to pay for any new batteries. You can purchase these from your dispenser or from many high street chemists.

Another source of batteries is the online shop on the RNID website.

When you change batteries follow the instructions carefully.

Acoustic feedback

This is the medical term for the ‘whistling’ sound that you sometimes get with hearing aids. This is a common problem and occurs if any amplified sounds are picked up by the microphone.

If you experience this problem then check that the ear mould has been inserted correctly – either inside or behind your ear. If it hasn’t then push it gently into place.

This can be caused by a faulty component in the aid, for example the ear mould or you may have excess ear wax. If ear wax is a problem then see your GP.

Problems with your hearing aid

If you notice a problem with your hearing aid then there are a few things you can try before seeking advice.

Start by checking that your hearing aid is switched on. This may sound obvious but is more common than you think.

Check that it is on the correct setting –‘M’(microphone) and not on the ‘T-setting’ (telecoil). Also check that the batteries have been inserted correctly and that the volume control is turned up.

If you think that the batteries are a problem then replace these with new ones.

You can also check that the ear mould isn’t congested with ear wax or the tubing isn’t bent or damaged.

If none of these work then contact your local NHS hearing aid centre or private dispenser.

Treatments : A guide to Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

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