Hearing aids are a big investment, so you want to be sure that you get the most from them. Today’s hearing aids can last five to seven years with proper care. Whether you’re just starting out with your first units or you’ve worn hearing aids for years, it’s always a good idea to review your daily routine. Here are four tips to help care for your hearing aids.

1. Avoid moisture

It’s not hard to understand how water is an enemy to your hearing aids. But sometimes they’re so comfortable you forget you have them on and step into the shower! Or, perhaps a good game of tennis led you to work up a sweat. Maybe it’s just a very humid day and you’ve been in and out of air conditioning all day. These situations can shorten the life of your hearing aids. One of the best ways to avoid moisture damage is to use a hearing aid dehumidifier. These units are reasonably priced and dry up any moisture overnight.

2. Clean your units

Clogged microphones, receivers and other parts can quickly cause deterioration to your hearing aids. The most common culprit is earwax. Remember, earwax is good for your ears but bad for your units. It’s good practice to wipe down your hearing aids daily to remove any loose earwax and oils from your skin. Depending upon the style of hearing aids, you may have special tools to clean out your units. Avoid earwax buildup in your ear canal, but never ever use a cotton swab in your ear!

3. Create a routine

Because your hearing aids are small, they can be easily misplaced. Find a safe place to store them overnight and keep them in that same place every night. If you have to remove your hearing aids during the day (perhaps to talk on the telephone), create a safe place nearby for storage. Another part of the routine is to always open the battery door when you take your hearing aids out for the night. This allows moisture to evaporate and provides a longer battery life. Once a week, do a longer inspection of your units, checking for any damage.

4. Visit your audiologist

Just like your car needs routine oil changes, your hearing aids need routine professional maintenance. Your audiologist can do a deep cleaning and inspect the units for problems. During this visit you should also mention any issues that have come up, such as a loose battery door or muffled sound. Your audiologist can make minor repairs or evaluate damage and repair time.

These four tips to help care for your hearing aids are vital to help increase their lifespan. Because your hearing aids play such a great role in improving your lifestyle, a few minutes of daily care and cleaning should provide many years of service.