Phonak is part of a Swiss conglomerate Sonova, which also includes Unitron (hearing aids) and Advanced Bionics (cochlear implants). It began in 1947 as AG fur Elektroakustik in Zurich, Switzerland. A Phonak marketing group was established in the U.S. in 1987. Today it is one of the six largest hearing aid companies in the world. The Phonak hearing aid line ranges in technology levels from very basic to advanced features. Wireless products and assistive devices for those with special needs are also available. Phonak hearing aids are available at Gardner Audiology, COSTCO and affiliated with Connect Hearing and Hearing Planet retail outlets.
Before you call Gardner Audiology about a repair of a Phonak hearing aid you should try to self-service the problem. First, clean the aid. It is typically not necessary to use any kind of liquid to clean hearing aid, although there are some products available that are safe such as Glisten-aide which does contain alcohol. Straight alcohol should be avoided; it can, over time damage the case and/ or ear mold. Water should be avoided as corrosion is a concern for some components. A clean, dry, lint free, soft cloth can be used to remove oil moisture and cerumen (ear wax) from the exterior of your device. A cotton wash cloth works well. For removing moisture from ear molds, a squeeze bulb type air blower can remove moisture build up/ blockage from standard ear mold tubing. For the slim tube devices, a piece of monofilament line run through the tubing is sufficient to clear debris and moisture followed up with the air blower. For cleaning the battery contacts, care must be taken to avoid damage; something as simple as a cotton swab can cause damage if the cotton should catch on a contact and you try to forcibly remove it. Have your professional show you how to maintain the battery contacts. There are drying containers that can be used for removing the moisture from your hearing aid. You typically need to place the hearing aid in the container for a few hours or overnight depending on the type of device. Some dryers are as simple as moisture absorbing pellets to electric boxes that provide gentle heat. Some have an ultra violet light source to sanitize (kill bacteria) the hearing aid. Another element of many hearing aids is a wax trap on the speaker port. It usually looks like a small white cap. These are easily removed and replaced when they become clogged and are only replaced as needed. A clogged wax trap is a very common cause of hearing aid malfunction and is easily remedied.
A little maintenance goes a long way toward minimizing repairs requiring the assistance of a professional. St. Petersburg is known for its beaches and tourist attractions. It’s also known for heat and humidity and frequent afternoon thundershowers in the summer months. Humidity, perspiration, dust, skin oils and dead skin all contribute to the degradation of volume and sound quality. Keeping your hearing aid clean and dry is critical to top performance. It’s best to have your hearing care professional show you how to properly clean you hearing aids; simply wiping them off and placing them in a case in not sufficient.
If the above self-service hints do not revive your hearing aid then contact Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182 or go to gardneraudiology.com