Senior man and woman in a living room.

Caring for a Receiver in the Canal (RIC) Hearing Aid

A common question that hearing aid users ask is, “how long will my hearing aids last?”. The fact of the matter is that the lifespan of your hearing aid is directly related to how well your hearing aids are maintained. Hearing aids can last for many years if they are well cared for. This includes daily cleaning and correct storage of your hearing aids.

Daily cleaning routine of your RIC hearing aid

As your hearing aid fits snugly in your ear, it is unfortunately exposed to wax and moisture. Wax and moisture can affect the sound quality of your hearing aid and cause your hearing aid to become faulty, if the wax is not removed from your hearing aid on a daily basis. When removing your hearing aid at the end of the day, remove any wax or debris from your hearing aid dome by using the cleaning brush provided with your hearing aid.

It is also important to ensure that the microphone port found on the back of your hearing aid is free from wax and debris. Use your cleaning brush to gently brush over the microphone port. A soft lint free cloth can also be used to clean the dome and microphone port of your hearing aid. 

Lastly, if your hearing aids are battery operated, debris may build up inside your hearing aid battery compartment. This can prevent the hearing aid battery from making full contact, which in turn may affect the performance of your hearing aid. In order to prevent this from occurring, use a soft lint-free cloth or cleaning brush to ensure your hearing aid battery compartment is free from debris. If your hearing aid is a rechargeable hearing aid, use a soft lint free cloth to clean the charging contacts on your hearing aid as well as the pins in the charging case.  

Storing your RIC hearing aid

One of the most common causes of a faulty hearing aid is moisture. In order to prevent damage, and preserve the sound quality of your hearing aid, it is important to store your hearing aids with drying crystals. This will ensure that your hearing aids will remain dry by absorbing any moisture found in your hearing aid, and ultimately prolonging the lifespan of your hearing aid. Drying capsules can be purchased from Lexie Hearing through the shop in your Lexie app.

Rechargeable hearing aids should be charged regularly in their charging case in order to ensure that your hearing aids have enough battery power. Rechargeable hearing aids last between 18 to 24 hours between charges depending on usage and take approximately 3 hours to fully charge. Be sure to only charge your rechargeable hearing aids in the charging case after wiping your hearing aids with a soft lint free cloth to remove any moisture from your hearing aids.    

Replacing the wax guard

The wax guard is found on the end of the receiver wire that is attached to your hearing aid, underneath the dome. The purpose of the wax guard is to act as a barrier to prevent wax from building up in the receiver of your hearing aid. There is no specific rule on how often a wax guard should be replaced as it is dependent from person to person. 

Some hearing aid users may change their hearing aid wax guards every month whilst others may get multiple months out of their wax guards. If you notice that your hearing aids sound quieter than usual, it may be that your hearing aids are blocked with wax. If this is the case, it is recommended that you replace the wax guards and domes immediately.

Steps to replace the wax guard:

  1. Remove the wax guard tool from the case. 
  2. This tool has two sides: one side hosts the new white wax filter and the other side (with a ridged edge) is used to remove the old wax guard.
  3. Remove the dome from the tip of the receiver.
  4. Insert the ridged edge of the tool in the old wax guard located at the tip of the hearing aid’s receiver wire and pull the old wax guard out.
  5. Use the other side of the tool to insert the new wax guard. Remove the tool by gently rotating it while pulling it out to ensure that you don’t pull the new wax guard out with it. You can now throw the tool away. 
Image of post writer Marcellé Swanepoel.

Written by Marcellé Swanepoel

B. Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology



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