From earwax to clean hearing aids

News from earwax to clean hearing aids

In this article we would like to share with you the latest findings in the field of hearing aid care.

What is earwax?

Earwax (med. also called cerumen) is a yellow-brownish, greasy secretion of the glands in the external auditory canal. It protects the ear from penetrating foreign bodies (dust, dirt, germs) and conducts them through the coils of the ear canal to the outside. In rare cases, hardening and blockages may occur.

The challenge

The balance in the ear canal, consisting of heating, ventilation, moisture and cerumen, can be disturbed by inserted “foreign bodies”. These are for example:

  • In-the-ear hearing aids
  • Ear moulds
  • External receiver
  • Hearing protection
  • all types of in-ear earphones

Temporary occlusion or partial occlusion increases the temperature and humidity in the ear and often increases the production of cerumen. Especially in the acclimatisation phase, this leads to irritation, reddening of the skin and even eczema.

Impact on modern hearing aids

Apart from cerumen, moisture (especially sweat) and skin secretions (dandruff and greasiness from sebaceous glands) are harmful to all hearing aids. Particularly vulnerable are:

  • small openings of the receivers
  • Ventilation holes
  • Microphones
  • Switches
  • Buttons
  • Battery charger

Moisture enters the interior of the hearing aids through capillary effect (cohesion and adhesion). The cocktail of salts, acids, organic components and water leads to failures and expensive repairs, up to total damage.

Daily care helps, but…

Daily care (cleaning and hygiene) is essential for both the health of the ear and the function of the hearing aids.
Up to now, hearing aid care has usually consisted of cleaning (wiping with a wet cloth or cleaning spray plus cleaning cloth), then drying in an electric drying box, possibly with UV-C light for disinfection. The danger here is that dirt and viscous cerumen will get deeper into the openings when wiping.

The new nursing knowledge

After the market launch of the dry-cap uv® and the dry-cap uv 2®, the acousticians noticed that the turbo-fast fan drying and the 2 UV-C phases not only dried the hearing systems faster and more intensively, but also hardened any adhering cerumen into dust. This could easily be brushed off with the brush.

A field test proves

In France, a larger group of hearing care professionals then carried out a field test. First, the hearing aids were dried with the flow-med fan dryers with UV-C light and then brushed off dry without leaving any residue. With RIC systems, the cerumen protection had to be changed significantly less. The cleaning process was in the result qualitatively clearly better (hardly smear effects in openings). The time required was less and, above all, much easier and more practical for the customer. The intensive fast drying with fan and the combination with UV-C light is decisive.

Résumé

Thanks to the new care products from flow-med with fan and UV-C light, cerumen becomes dust-dry and can therefore be brushed off easily. This represents a first in hearing aid care.

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