Lowering your chance of depression, decreasing your risk of falling, and enhancing cognitive ability are some of the unexpected health benefits that have been shown to come from wearing hearing aids. Which is why it can be so aggravating when these devices have malfunctions. The difference between a delightful dinner with family or a horrible time can be made by discovering a quick remedy when your hearing aid begins screeching with feedback or quits altogether.
Luckily, there are some basic troubleshooting measures you can take which may alleviate or address some typical hearing aid issues. The faster you figure out what’s going on with your hearing aid, the sooner you can go back to what’s important.
Try Swapping Out The Batteries
One of the most common problems with hearing aids is a low battery. Some hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. Other devices are made to have their batteries exchanged. Here are some of the symptoms that may lead you to believe the batteries are the bad guy when your device starts to malfunction:
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: If your hearing aid doesn’t turn on, or won’t stay on, there’s a good chance the battery is the main problem.
- Weak sounds: You’re battling to hear what’s taking place around you and that seems to be occurring more and more.
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound muffled like they are distant or underwater.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Make sure the batteries are 100 % charged. If your hearing aid is equipped with rechargeable batteries, let them charge for a few hours or overnight.
- Having the right batteries is essential so make certain you double check that. Putting the wrong kind of battery in your hearing aid can lead to malfunctions. (Occasionally, a battery will seem to be the same size as a different battery so it’s crucial that you be careful and check twice.)
- If you have replaceable batteries, replace them on a regular basis. In certain cases, rechargeable batteries are sealed inside of the device, and if that’s the situation, you might need to bring the hearing aid to a specialist.
Every Surface Should be Cleaned
Hearing aids, obviously, spend a lot of time in your ears. And there’s a lot going on in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So while helping you hear, it’s no surprise that your hearing aid can get somewhat dirty. Most hearing aid models are designed to deal with a certain amount of earwax buildup, but it’s a good idea to have a regular cleaning schedule also. Here are some of the problems that can come from too much buildup:
- Feedback: The feedback canceling feature on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup generating a whistling sound.
- Discomfort: Earwax can accumulate to the point where your hearing aid fits a little tight. Occasionally, the plastic in the molds will harden and need to be exchanged.
- Muffled sound: Earwax and other buildup can make your hearing aid sound like it’s buried underneath something.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Clean your hearing aid lightly in the way that the manufacturer has recommended.
- Ensure you are bringing your hearing aids to a professional for regular cleaning and maintenance.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become covered and plugged up by earwax and debris so look for that. Clean with your cleaning tool or as advised by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Examine the earwax filter to ensure it’s clean; replace it if needed.
Try Giving Yourself a Little Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t necessarily the problem. When you first put in your hearing aids, your brain needs to get used to hearing the world again. As your mind adapts, you may notice that certain sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for instance). And certain consonants often sound louder than the rest of the speech.
These are all clues that your brain is racing to catch up to sound again and, in time, you’ll adapt.
But it’s important to get help with any problems before too much time passes. If your hearing aids are not comfortable or you’re experiencing continuous noise problems or things don’t seem to be working just the way they ought to be, we can help get you back on track and make sure you’re enjoying, not enduring, your hearing aids.