Caring For Hearing Aids
Use these How-To videos for step-by-step instructions on caring for your hearing aids and pairing them with accessories. At the beginning of each video you’ll be shown any tools or equipment you’ll need to have on hand.
Changing Wax Guards:
Cleaning Hearing Aid:
Care For Hearing Aids In Nursing Care
Many patients in nursing care come to the facility wearing hearing aids. Some are fit with hearing aids for the first time while in the facility. Both patients will need help monitoring and caring for their hearing aids. Hearing aids are expensive and can be lost or destroyed easily if there is no Daily Plan of Care. Most caregivers, CNAs, and nursing staff have had little direct involvement with hearing aid usage and care. Minimal knowledge of cleaning and troubleshooting paired with a daily plan can make communication with the patient and relationships with the families much easier. If a hearing aid is lost or goes through the laundry significant cost is incurred by the family or facility. A simple daily plan can be implemented to avoid these probabilities. The patient’s hearing aid provider and their phone number should be in their chart and easily found. The provider’s card or other contact info should be with the materials that come with the hearing aids.
- Each patient’s hearing aid should have their name or initials engraved or printed on the instrument with permanent marker. An R or an L can be printed on it to quickly identify Right and Left. (Red markings or writing on a hearing aid always means Right, Blue markings or writing always means Left)
- The hearing aids should be stored in the same safe location every night before going to bed so the morning shift will know where to find them every morning. Hearing aids should not typically be worn to bed as they tend to fall out and into the bed sheets to be lost or laundered. Often the patient will have a Dri-Aid kit or case that came with the hearing aids to store them in.
- The hearing aids’ battery doors should be opened at night to make sure the hearing aids are off. Batteries should not be left out loose where they may be mistaken for medication. Batteries are easily swallowed and should be kept locked up if necessary. A battery ingestion hotline is printed on the back of the battery package or call poison control.
- Most hearing aids today will signal when the battery needs to be replaced. Patients often forget what the signal means so it may be better just to change the battery once a week on the same day. If the patient keeps a calendar then you can put the tab you tear off the battery on the date you change it. Or simply mark on the calendar Battery Change every Sunday and cross it out when the change is made. Different size batteries last different amounts of time. Ask a family member if they know and again mark it on the patient’s calendar at those intervals. The patient’family member or hearing aid provider should be contacted for more batteries when their supply gets low.
- Hearing aids should be cleaned as needed or at least once a week. Cleaning should not take more than 2 minutes.
1. Wipe aids, earmolds, or end caps with a dry cloth or tissue.
2. Brush the aids microphones, earmolds, or end caps free of ear wax using the cleaning brush or a soft, dry, toothbrush.
3. Pick any ear wax from the hearing aid, earmold, or end cap using wax pick.
4. Open the battery door to shut off.
5. Store in Dri-Aid kit or case it came in.
- Troubleshooting – Hold the hearing aid in your closed hand and it should squeal. If not then:
1. Clean the hearing aid, particularly whatever part is going into the earcanal.
2. If still not working then change the battery.
3. If still not working then change the filter if it has one at the piece going into the ear canal. You may have to pull off the rubber end cap. Most filters are small and white and replaced using a tool the patient should have.
4. If still not working have the family take it into their hearing aid provider.
Residents should have an otoscopic exam to check for ear wax build up done by the nurse on a monthly basis and have it removed as needed. Wearing hearing aids often stimulates more build up and it should be checked as part of the regular health monitoring. Hearing loss is socially isolating and often contributes to problems with dementia and depression, typically resulting in a poorer quality of life. If you recognize someone struggling with hearing please ask or mention it to your nursing supervisor. Hearing may be the least of their problems but one of the easiest to address with hearing aids or an assistive listening device.
How To Pair/Sync Your Accessories: