What receiver-in-canal (RIC) lifespan are you experiencing?

I am fitted with a pair of Siemens Pure BTE RICs. About every two to three months I need to replace each receiver. They do not suddenly completely fail, but loose what I estimate to be between 25 & 50 % of their power. Is anyone else experiencing this with RICs?

The Siemens replaced a pair of Oticon Epoqs that did the same thing only more frequently. My audiologist failed to convince either Oticon or Siemens to evaluate returned receivers to help figure out what is going on. The instruments (and receivers) will still be under warranty for a while, but I worry about after the warranty expires and replacing (at $70/ea.) close to $1K in receivers every year. Not to mention the inconvenience.

I use a Dry & Store each evening and have no problems with cerumen. Is this just me or is this normal mean time to failure for RICs?

You should be getting a new warranty with each replaced receiver as they clinician does and the receivers don’t have serial numbers. The clinician simply replaces it for your or gives you spares to replace it yourself and then swaps the failed ones. Do you have particularly waxy or wet ear canals as this can often lead to failure of receivers in which case a slim tube fitting might be a better choice?

My audiologist has been great with letting me have two spare pairs that I replace myself. Maybe after the warranty on the instruments themselves expire, each receiver would be warranted for a certain length of time. I would gladly replace the receivers once a year but six times seems excessive.

It’s hard to say if I have above normal moisture in my ear canals. You can buy waterproof speakers so you’d think they would build some of that technology into hearing aid receivers.

Maybe I will have to convert to a slim tube after all.

Boy, I would love to jump in here with both feet! We sell lots of mini BTE open ear hearing aids, both RIC and non RIC aids. I’m not sure of the percentage but it is a significant number of the failures of RIC aids over the non-RIC. And, to top it off there is little to no difference in performance.

All of you with RIC aids need to know how to change/clean wax guards. It is absolutely imperative! Sorry, I don’t mean to be on the soap box but it is a growing problem. Once all the RIC aids come out of warranty the receiver will be in the neighborhood of $100 US and you will not get a warranty on them.

If you do not know how to change/clean your wax guards please get help.

At our website we have a number of articles about maintenance and are always happy to answer any questions on how to maintain a hearing aid.

In addition, here is a brief article on cleaning aids:

Maintenance and Cleaning
Did you know that just by putting your new open ear hearing in your ear one time you can make it fail to work? It’s true, so learning the care and cleaning tips which follow is important.
Open ear hearing aids fall into two categories with regard to maintenance, RIC and non-RIC. RIC stands for Receiver-In-Canal.
RIC hearing aids:
These have a small electronic component on the end of the tube that is placed in the ear canal. This component is called a receiver and works like a speaker making sound right next to your eardrum.
Usually a mushroom shaped dome, sometimes it is shaped like the tulip flower, is fitted over the receiver with a very snug fit. The dome will need to be removed by pulling on the center part that is stretched over the receiver.
Once the dome is off it should be inspected closely for blockages. Many domes have a very fine grid or screen in them to prevent wax and moisture from getting into the receiver. Clean the screen carefully with alcohol and blow dry before replacing it on the tube, making sure to get it all the way on to the tube so that it cannot be pulled off easily.
Some manufacturers have a replaceable wax guard over the end of the receiver. These come in packs of 5 to 10 each with a tool for easy removal and replacement.
Non-RIC Hearing Aids:
On non-RIC aids, since the receiver is kept in the case and sound travels through a hollow tube into your ear canal, there is very little chance of wax getting into the receiver. However, the tubes can still become plugged and no sound will come out.
The tubes either snap on or screw onto the hearing aid. Start by twisting the tube, where it connects to the hearing aid, counter-clockwise ¼ turn. If the tube detents into this position it is a snap on tube, so simply pull it off. If the tube continues to turn easily it is threaded onto the hearing aid and will simply unscrew.
Once the tube is disconnected from the hearing aid a simple remedy is to blow through the tube from the end that was connected to the hearing aid. If you can feel the airflow, by putting your fingertip close to the dome end, then the tube is clear and ready to be reinstalled.
If the tube is plugged use a short piece of monofilament line, heavy test fishing line, to push through it to unplug it.
It is a good idea to have extra non-RIC tubes, domes, and wax guards (for hearing aids that use them) on hand along with extra batteries.
Do one at a time so you do not get mixed up by putting a left side tube on a right side hearing aid or vice versa.

As John knows, I had problems with a trial Audeo Yes V last week. I visited the Audi yesterday. She removed the dome and found some wax in the receiver, but not enough to cause a complete obstruction. She thought part of my problem might be bad battery contacts, but since it is within the trial period, she decided to send the entire aid back for replacement, and will request a new receiver as well. UGH.

I have been getting two to three years out of my Siemens Centra Active receivers. For pictures of my teardown of a failed receiver, see my webshots album at hyper text transfer protocol backslash backslash home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/582784736UgxNtG?vhost=home-and-garden (you will have to copy and paste this URL in; apparently forum newbies are not allowed to insert real URLs until they have made 15 posts).