Many of our Silicon Valley patients are well acquainted with the delicate nature of the micro-digital technology included in hearing aids. The ton of tiny mechanical and electrical components built into today’s hearing aids requires a lot of special care to ensure optimum performance as well as greater longevity.

Earwax is a major enemy of the intricate parts included in modern hearing aids. Inspecting and changing hearing aid wax guards is one way my patients can get the best performance and most extended service life out of their hearing aids.

Here is a quick guide for changing the wax guards in your hearing aids.

What are Wax Guards?

Many hearing aid manufacturers develop and install wax guards to limit or completely eliminate earwax from the internal components of their devices. These small plastic filters prevent earwax, moisture, and other debris from building up near the receiver or speaker on the hearing aid.

Since these elements can cause damage to a rather expensive piece of technology, changing out these relatively inexpensive filters is the most cost-effective way to protect your investment.

How Often Should You Change Your Wax Guards?

Several variables come into play when considering the frequency of changing wax guards. Some environments produce more debris and moisture than others, which in turn increases or decreases the need for cerumen, the waxy oil used to clean out your ear canal naturally.

Because people live and work in a variety of environments and each individual produces earwax at a unique rate, it is difficult to provide a specific timeframe for changing wax guards.

Those who strictly adhere to cleaning their hearing aids daily are more likely to extend the length of time between changing wax guards.

Those who note heavy earwax buildup during cleaning should consider changing their wax guards weekly. However, those with moderate buildup can change them every other week.

Most people can get away with changing their wax guards once a month. However, if you experience muted sound, feedback, or are experiencing pitch or tone quality changes, changing your wax guard might be your best troubleshooting solution.

Steps for Changing Your Hearing Aid Wax Guard

The wax guard changing process is a relatively simple one for most models. It involves the following seven steps, including:

  1. Remove new wax guards from the packaging.
  2. Secure the wax guard installation tool with the new wax guard attached to one end and the other end empty.
  3. Push the empty end of the tool into the old wax guard, and gently pull the tool toward you to allow the old wax guard to come free of the hearing aid.
  4. Throw the old wax guard away.
  5. Push the end of the tool with the new wax guard into the place where you removed the old wax guard.
  6. Make sure the new wax guard is secured in place.
  7. Gently pull the tool toward you with the new wax guard remaining in place.

Most manufacturers use this same process for changing wax guards. If the model you own has a different process, consult your hearing care provider for technical support.

Pacific Hearing Service Provides Professional Tech Support

Daily cleaning and frequently changing your wax guards are the most cost-effective ways to maintain optimum performance and increase the longevity of your hearing aids.

You can perform these tasks on your own by following the simple steps listed above.

If you have difficulty changing your wax guards or identify a defect or damage, Pacific Hearing Service provides professional support to help you get the most out of your hearing aids.

Contact our Menlo Park clinic (650)854-1980 or Los Altos clinic (650)941-0664 for remote assistance via teleaudiology or to schedule an in-person appointment that strictly adheres to the proper protocols to ensure your health and safety.

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Jane H. Baxter, Au.D.

Jane H. Baxter, Au.D.

Dr. Baxter became a partner at Pacific Hearing Service in 1986 and both manages and provides audiology services at the Menlo Park office. She completed her clinical doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) at Salus University, received her graduate training at San Francisco State and UC Berkeley, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and certified by the American Board of Audiology.