how to clean phonak hearing aids
Image Credit: www.phonak.com

Phonak hearing aids have truly revolutionized the way countless individuals with hearing loss experience the world around them. These devices, which amplify and deliver crisp and clear sounds directly to the user’s ear, represent one of the great achievements of modern audiology technology. However, like any finely tuned instrument, they require regular maintenance to ensure they continue to operate at their maximum potential. One of the key aspects of this maintenance is the cleaning process. And that’s what brings us here: understanding how to clean Phonak hearing aids in a way that ensures longevity and maintains that crystal clear sound quality.

The importance of cleaning cannot be understated. It’s not just about aesthetics or ensuring the device looks good; it’s about its performance, functionality, and, ultimately, its lifespan. Over time, without regular cleaning, hearing aids can accumulate earwax, debris, and other contaminants that can interfere with their performance.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to discuss how to clean Phonak hearing aids, providing you with all the knowledge and tools you need to keep your device in great condition. Whether you’re a seasoned user or someone who’s just received their first set of Phonak hearing aids, this guide has something for everyone. 

Understanding the Importance of Regular Cleaning

The importance of keeping your Phonak hearing aids clean goes far beyond aesthetics. Regular cleaning is a vital aspect of maintaining their performance and ensuring they provide the best hearing experience possible. Here’s a deeper look into why understanding how to clean Phonak hearing aids is so crucial.

Several factors exist regarding the necessity of regular cleaning for Phonak hearing aids:

  • Wax Build-up: One of the most common issues faced by hearing aid users is the accumulation of earwax on the device. Our ears naturally produce wax, which can find its way onto the hearing aid, especially the earpiece that sits inside the ear canal. Over time, this build-up can obstruct the device’s output, affecting sound clarity.
  • Maintaining Functionality: Dust, debris, and sweat can infiltrate the tiny openings of the hearing aid, such as the microphone ports or the speaker. Regular cleaning ensures these openings remain clear, allowing the hearing aid to function at its optimal level.
  • Extending Lifespan: Just like any other piece of technology, proper maintenance can significantly increase the lifespan of Phonak hearing aids. Cleaning them regularly prevents the build-up of substances that can corrode or damage internal components.

Neglecting the cleanliness of Phonak hearing aids would have several consequences:

  • Reduced Sound Quality: The main aim of the hearing aid is to amplify and deliver sound. Any obstruction, whether it be from earwax or external debris, can muffle this sound, leading to reduced clarity and volume. Users may find themselves continually adjusting the volume or struggling to hear, highly affecting their total auditory experience.
  • Device Malfunction: Prolonged exposure to contaminants without cleaning can lead to more severe issues. Moisture, for instance, can cause internal components to corrode over time. Dust and debris can clog essential parts, leading to total device malfunction if not addressed.
  • Decreased Lifespan: The accumulation of impurities can strain the device, forcing it to work harder than necessary. Over time, this can wear out the internal mechanisms faster, meaning users might need to replace their Phonak hearing aids sooner than they would have with proper maintenance.

In summary, understanding how to clean Phonak hearing aids is not just a recommendation—it’s a necessity. Ensuring regular cleaning not only guarantees optimal performance but also protects the investment made in such a sophisticated device.

Essential Tools for Cleaning Phonak Hearing Aids

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When it comes to ensuring the long life and optimal performance of your Phonak hearing aids, having the right cleaning tools is important. Using the correct tools not only makes the process more effective but also ensures the device remains undamaged during cleaning. Here’s a comprehensive overview of the essential tools you’ll need and how to use them when considering how to clean Phonak hearing aids.

The first thing you need is a soft brush designed with bristles gentle enough to meticulously remove debris and dust from the hearing aid’s surface without causing any scratches. As you gently sweep across the device, especially around the microphone ports and speaker openings, you’ll find that the soft brush is adept at reaching those intricate crevices where dirt tends to hide. Next in line is the wax pick, a tool dedicated to eradicating earwax build-up. With careful and delicate motions, the wax pick can be maneuvered into the earpiece or any tight spots of the device to extract accumulated wax.

After cleaning, the drying jar serves as a sanctuary for your Phonak hearing aids, extracting moisture and ensuring they remain unperturbed by dampness. Typically, an overnight stay in this jar suffices to absorb any residual moisture. For a quick and effective surface cleanse, cleaning wipes (such as [1]) are also needed. Formulated specifically for hearing aids, they provide a gentle yet thorough cleaning without leaving behind any harmful residue.

how to clean phonak hearing aids

Lastly, the hearing aid cleaning solution offers a deep clean, ridding the device of lingering contaminants post-brushing or wiping. Application varies based on manufacturer recommendations, but typically, a small amount on a soft cloth does the trick. Once the device is generously covered, letting it air dry ensures its readiness for use.

In essence, mastering how to clean Phonak hearing aids hinges not just on technique but also on the equipment. Equipped with these tools and the knowledge of their correct usage, you’re poised to ensure that your device operates optimally for the long haul. One could also consider buying complete cleaning kits for Phonak hearing aids, such as [2].

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02/18/2024 09:34 am GMT

Learn The Step-by-Step Process On How To Clean Phonak Hearing Aids

Cleaning your Phonak hearing aids is not a complicated process, but it does require attention to detail. By following a systematic approach, you can ensure that the devices are cleaned thoroughly without causing any damage. Here’s how to clean Phonak hearing aids step by step:

1. Removing the Hearing Aid:

Before you begin the cleaning process, it’s essential to safely remove the hearing aid. If it’s in your ear, gently grip the device and pull it out slowly, ensuring you don’t tug on any of its delicate parts. If they’re in their case, open the case gently and pick up the hearing aid, avoiding touching any of the internal components directly.

2. External Cleaning:

The exterior of the hearing aid often collects dirt, dust, and sweat from regular use. Using a soft brush, gently sweep away any debris from the microphone ports, speaker openings, and the body. For a deeper clean, dampen a soft cloth with the hearing aid cleaning solution and gently wipe down the external surfaces. This will help in removing any stubborn debris or oils from the skin.

3. Wax Removal:

Earwax build-up is a common concern for hearing aid users. To remove wax from the device, use a wax pick carefully. Insert the pick into areas where there’s visible wax and gently scrape it away. If your Phonak hearing aids have a wax filter, it’s essential to check it regularly. If the filter appears clogged, it’s time to change it. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific method of changing the wax filter for your model.

4. Drying and Disinfecting:

The last step to learning how to clean Phonak hearing aids is to ensure that after cleaning them, the hearing aids are dry. Any moisture left can damage the internal components. Place the devices in a drying jar or use a dedicated hearing aid dryer. Periodic disinfection is also vital. Use cleaning wipes or a solution specifically designed for hearing aids to eliminate bacteria and germs. Allow them to air dry thoroughly before use.

Additional notes regarding cleaning according to the type of hearing aid

 Different types of hearing aids necessitate distinct cleaning techniques tailored to their unique designs and functionalities. For instance, Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids have an ear mold that can accumulate debris over time. The optimal cleaning method involves detaching this mold, wiping it daily, and giving it a thorough weekly soak in warm, soapy water to tackle any discoloration. The tubing, which may trap water, should be meticulously dried using a bulb blower, ensuring all moisture is expelled, and then left overnight to air dry.

On the other hand, In the Ear (ITE) hearing aids have intricate openings, such as the microphone port, which can trap debris. These require a delicate touch, cleaned with a soft brush or a gentle toothbrush. Positioning the device so the openings face downwards ensures debris falls out, avoiding blockages. Stubborn remnants can be dislodged using specialized tools like wax picks or loops. The entire device should be concluded with a gentle wipe-down using a clean, dry cloth or tissue, keeping it pristine and ready for use [3].

Cleaning Tips and Best Practices

Maintaining the condition and functionality of your Phonak hearing aids extends beyond the cleaning process. Here are some additional tips and best practices to ensure they remain in top condition:

Daily Maintenance Routine

Establish a daily cleaning routine. Before bedtime, spend a few minutes to brush off any debris and check for wax build-up. This daily attention prevents excessive accumulation and ensures your hearing aids are ready to provide optimal performance each day.

Storage and Care

Always store your hearing aids in their protective case when not in use. This not only safeguards them from physical damage but also prevents dust and debris from settling on them. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures, high humidity, or direct sunlight, as these conditions can compromise the integrity and functionality of the devices.

Cleaning Phonak hearing aids might initially seem like a daunting task to undertake independently. However, there are many online resources providing invaluable assistance for users aiming to master this essential routine. For instance, there are many unofficial user-generated videos on platforms such as YouTube, offering comprehensive, detailed demonstrations of the cleaning process.

Additionally, Phonak, the manufacturer, has produced an official series of instructional videos [4], ensuring users receive accurate, step-by-step guidance on maintaining their hearing aids optimally. Such resources prove instrumental in simplifying the cleaning process, equipping users with the knowledge and confidence to handle their devices with care.

Professional Cleaning

Though routine self-care is imperative for your Phonak hearing aids, it is also very important to conduct periodic professional cleaning. Entrusting your devices to an audiologist or hearing aid specialist means benefiting from their advanced tools and profound expertise.

These professionals can not only deep-clean but also meticulously assess your aids for subtle signs of wear or potential damage. Regular professional evaluations catch and rectify minor issues, preventing them from becoming major concerns. By actively integrating both personal and professional care methods for your Phonak hearing aids, you safeguard your investment, ensuring it consistently delivers the high sound quality you expect, day after day.

Phonak hearing aids stand as proof of the marvels of modern audiology technology, enabling countless individuals to experience the world with enhanced auditory clarity. But to sustain this brilliance, regular maintenance, particularly cleaning, is paramount. As we’ve discussed, neglecting the cleanliness of these sophisticated devices can lead to reduced sound quality, malfunctions, and a shorter lifespan. Regular cleaning, on the other hand, ensures they function optimally, free from obstructions like earwax, dust, and moisture.

Clean Phonak Hearing Aids Conclusion

If you’re a Phonak hearing aid user, embracing the cleaning guide outlined above isn’t merely a recommendation—it’s a call to action. Knowing how to clean Phonak hearing aids and integrating these practices into your daily routine will not only maintain the impeccable sound quality of your device but also prolong its life, ensuring it remains an invaluable asset for years to come.

In closing, it’s essential to remember that taking proactive steps today can prevent potential complications tomorrow. By understanding how to clean Phonak hearing aids and actively ensuring their cleanliness, you’re not just maintaining a device; you’re preserving the clarity of your auditory experience. Every moment invested in their care is a step towards clearer conversations, richer melodies, and a fuller auditory experience.

References: 

[1] Phonak Hearing Aid Cleaning Tissues. Amazon. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Phonak-Hearing-Aid-Cleaning-Tissues/dp/B00IEC676W/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=phonak+cleaning+kit&qid=1697565213&sr=8-6

[2] Phonak Clean and Care Kit for BTE Hearing Aids. Walmart. Retrieved from https://www.walmart.com/ip/Phonak-Clean-and-Care-Kit-for-BTE-Hearing-Aids/521012824

[3] How to clean your Phonak hearing aid. Hearing Care Centres. Retrieved from https://www.hearingcarecentres.co.uk/how-to-clean-your-phonak-hearing-aid/

[4] Maintenance for Phonak hearing aids. Phonak. Retrieved from https://www.phonak.com/en-int/support/maintenance

Eleftheria Georganti
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Eleftheria's world revolves around sound - whether it's designing high-quality audio applications, crunching numbers in audio signal processing (DSP), decoding room acoustics, listening to music or crafting the latest hearing aid technology and new features. She has a professional career spanning over 15 years and a strong research record (over 40 articles and patents) and has been the driving force behind top-notch products at leading hearing aid and audio tech companies. But what really makes her enthusiastic is sharing what she knows. As an avid writer, she loves spreading the word on the science of hearing, hearing aids and health technologies. Her ultimate goal? To give people with hearing impairments the insights they need to live their best life.

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