Jodi -vac with RIC aid?

#1

Is the Jodi Vac helpful for a RIC aid? My aid uses wax filters but I get frequent wax build up in my ears.
Would there be much benefit?

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#2

I think the usefulness of the Jodi-Vac varies according to the type of material your domes or molds are made of and how many crevices and crannies you have to clean. Assume you’re asking about BTE(RIC) and not an ITE or CIC device).

Whether dome or mold, I’ve found the Jodi-Vac useful for vacuuming dandruff, etc., out from microphone openings and the slots around my HA body switches. On domes, different brands seem to have more or less slippery silicone material. Wax was sticky enough to ReSound domes that the Jodi-Vac needle was not only handy getting into nooks and crannies around the dome without unfolding or removing the dome from the receiver but the suction needle could also easily be used to scrape sticky wax off the dome. A bit disgusting, but sometimes a big gob of wax could be sucked up on the needle but the gob was so big and hard, it wouldn’t get sucked into the needle and the filter trap. All one had to do was wipe the tip of the needle against the piece of paper towel over which I was cleaning, the wax would come off on the paper towel, and it was on to the next spot. OTH, I found the silicone material in Phonak domes so slippery that wax came off very easily and except for nooks and crannies, I could imagine getting by with just a brush or cloth at least on the outside of a Phonak dome of the sort I was using (small Power Domes).

Now I have custom silicone molds. All of the above applies except for two things. Relatively little wax comes out on the molds and it’s often smeared on and adhering so strongly to the molds that it can’t be sucked off and I’m afraid to try scraping with the needle for fear of scarring the mold surface and thereby creating unwanted venting. The Jodi-Vac suction needle is still convenient for cleaning microphone and switch opening on the body and the receiver and vent openings on the mold. Surprisingly, I find stuff mostly collects just down inside the mold openings and rarely gets farther down into these tubes but my audi said that if I wanted, I could insert the suction needle all the way right onto the wax guard and apply suction there without hurting the receiver.

As I mentioned in another post, I find a double-ended cotton swab, one end wet with cleaning solution, the other end dry, effective for loosening and removing wax “glued” on to my silicone molds. Just as for the needle, if a big gob of wax comes off on a swab end, wiping it against the paper towel piece on my work surface usually removes the gob and preserves the swab for further cleaning.

I am not describing a Jodi-Vac as anything absolutely necessary for any of these tasks. I indulged myself in one just to see if I liked it (I do) and in the mean time, I’m also seeing how long one lasts. If it lasts five to six years (as long as I hope to keep my HA’s barring any astounding new technology) and I use it 365 days a year or so, that’ll work out to about five cents a day cost, an exceedingly small fraction of our daily household budget.

I’d actually say that the main hassle of a Jodi-Vac is not cost but having a place to use it. I’ve put it on a table in our house that I’ve dedicated as my HA cleaning spot. I leave it sitting out, plugged in, with a 2x magnifying glass hands-free stand, a set of noise-cancelling muffs, and a bright LED headlamp nearby and a box of swabs and cleaning solution nearby. So I can just sit down at the table and start cleaning, not have to get anything out or put it away. Otherwise, getting the Jodi-Vac out, plugging in the wire, setting it up on a daily basis might get old fast. Cost is one thing but how convenient it is to use it is another and might be a main deterrent to ease of use, etc. Something to think about.

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#3

You brought up many good points.
I will try Qtips to clean the domes. I have a Resound Quattro,
I just don’t see my aid itself getting wax or debris around the switches/mics. I brush but never see anything around the mics and switches so I was wondering why people seemed to have a need for this vac.
Having room for the vac is an issue and it would be a hassle to put it away and get it out daily.
I didn’t your post about the Qtips until today. I’m new to the site so just finding my way around.
Thanks for your very thoughtful and thorough response.

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#4

I have psoriasis so I’m always shedding a lot of dead skin cells as an abnormal T-cell reaction in my immune system causes an inflammatory skin response leading to too rapid proliferation and maturation of skin cells so I have quite a lot of dead cells to vacuum up, even after using medicated shampoos, etc. So for me, a Jodi-Vac is handy to have.

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