From earwax to clean hearing aids
In this article we would like to inform you about the latest findings in the field of hearing aid care.
What is earwax?
Earwax (med. also 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 these through the coils of the ear canal to the outside. In rare cases it can lead to hardening and blockage.
The balance in the ear canal, consisting of warming, ventilation, moisture and cerumen, can be disturbed by introduced “foreign objects”. These are for example:
- In-The-Ear hearing aids
- External receiver
- Hearing protection
- all types of in-ear hearing aids
Temporary closure or partial closure causes the temperature and humidity in the ear to rise and the production of cerumen is often increased. Especially during the acclimatization phase this leads to irritations, reddening of the skin and even eczema.
Impact on modern hearing aids
Besides cerumen, moisture (especially sweat) and skin secretions (dandruff and oily skin from sebaceous glands) are harmful to all hearing aids. These are particularly susceptible:
- small openings in the earpiece
- Ventilation holes
- Battery compartment
Moisture enters the interior of the hearing aids by capillary effect (cohesion and adhesion). The cocktail of salts, acids, organic components and water leads to failures and expensive repairs, up to and including total loss.
Daily care helps, but…
Daily care (cleaning and hygiene) is essential for both the health of the ear and the functioning of the hearing aids.
Until now, hearing aid care has generally consisted of cleaning (wiping with a damp 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 can penetrate even deeper into the openings during wiping.
The new maintenance findings
After the market launch of the dry-cap uv® and the dry-cap uv 2®, the acousticians noticed that due to the turbo-fast fan drying and the 2 UV-C phases, not only did the hearing aids dry faster and more intensively, but also any adhering cerumen hardened to dust. This could be easily brushed off with a brush.
A field test proves
In France, a large group of acousticians 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 when dry. With RIC systems, the cerumen protection had to be changed much less. As a result, the cleaning process was of much better quality (hardly any smearing effects in openings). The time required was less and, above all, much easier and more practical for the customer. The decisive factor is the intensive quick drying with fan and the combination with UV-C light.
With the new care products from flow-med with fan and UV-C light, cerumen becomes dust-dry and can be easily brushed off. This is a novelty in the care of hearing aids.