Hearing aids have been shown to improve your health in unsuspected ways including improving cognitive abilities, minimizing depression, and decreasing your risk of falls. Which is why it can be so frustrating when these devices fail to function properly. When you begin observing buzzing feedback, or when your hearing aids abruptly go silent, expedient solutions can be the difference between a lovely family dinner or a miserable one.
Fortunately, some of the most basic hearing aid problems can be eased with a few practical troubleshooting steps. The sooner you figure out what’s wrong with your hearing aid, the sooner you can go back to what’s important.
Try Changing The Batteries
One of the most prevalent issues with hearing aids is a low battery. Rechargeable batteries come standard with many hearing aid models. Other devices are manufactured to have their batteries changed. Here are a few of the symptoms that may give you a clue that the batteries are the culprit when your device goes on the fritz:
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: If your hearing aid won’t turn on, or won’t stay on, there’s a good chance the battery is the primary issue.
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound muffled like they are far away or underwater.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are always struggling to hear what’s happening around you.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Having the right batteries is essential so make sure you double check that. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the wrong battery. (In some cases, the wrong type of battery can be purchased in the correct size, so double-checking is important.)
- Make sure you have fully charged batteries. Allow your rechargeable batteries to charge overnight or at least for several hours.
- If you have replaceable batteries, replace them regularly. In some situations, rechargeable batteries are sealed inside of the device, and if that’s the situation, you may have to take the hearing aid to a specialist.
Every Surface Should be Cleaned
Obviously, hearing aids log a lot of time inside your ears. And there’s a lot taking place in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So in the process of helping you hear, it’s no surprise that your hearing aid can get a little dirty. Most hearing aid models are designed to handle some earwax accumulation, but it’s a good idea to have a regular cleaning plan also. A few issues linked to buildup and dirt could include:
- Feedback: The feedback canceling function on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup causing a whistling sound.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s lost behind something, it might just be. There might be earwax or other accumulation getting in the way.
- Discomfort: Earwax can buildup to the point where the fit of your hearing aid becomes a little tight. The plastic will occasionally need to be replaced if it starts to harden.
- Ensure you are bringing your hearing aids to a specialist for regular cleaning and maintenance.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to ensure it is not covered or blocked by earwax or debris. Clean with your cleaning tool or as advised by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Take care of the filter by checking it and, if needed, replacing it.
- Clean your hearing aid lightly in the way that the manufacturer has advised.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the problem. When you first put in your hearing aids, your brain needs to get used to hearing the world again. Specific sounds (the buzzing of an air conditioner, for example) might at first come across as unpleasantly loud. And some consonants frequently sound louder than the rest of the speech.
These are all indications that your brain is racing to catch up to auditory stimuli again and, before long, you’ll adapt.
However, it’s worthwhile not to let too much time pass, with any issue, before seeking help. Your hearing aids should make your life more enjoyable, so if things aren’t working the way they ought to be, or your hearing aids are uncomfortable, contact us, we can help.