Hearing aids have been demonstrated to support your health in surprising ways including boosting cognitive abilities, reducing depression, and decreasing your chance of falling. Which is why it can be so aggravating when these devices have malfunctions. When you start detecting buzzing feedback, or when your hearing aids suddenly go silent, quick solutions can make the difference between a pleasant family dinner or a difficult one.
Luckily, there are some practical troubleshooting measures you can take that could alleviate or manage some typical hearing aid problems. The faster you determine what’s wrong with your hearing aid, the sooner you can get back to what’s important.
Maybe The Batteries Need to be Changed
One of the most prevalent problems with hearing aids is a low battery. Rechargeable batteries come standard with many hearing aid models. Replaceable batteries are standard on other models. Here are some of the symptoms that may lead you to believe 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 possibility the battery is the principal issue.
- Dull sound quality: It seems like somebody is talking to you underwater or from across the room.
- Weak sounds: You’re battling to hear what’s happening around you and that seems to be occurring more and more.
Here’s what you do about it:
- If you have replaceable batteries, swap them out on a regular basis. In certain situations, 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.
- Having the right batteries is essential so make certain you double check that. Putting the wrong type of battery in your hearing aid can result in malfunctions. (Sometimes, the wrong kind of battery can be purchased in the correct size, so double-checking is crucial.)
- Make certain you have completely charged batteries. Let your rechargeable batteries charge overnight or at least for several hours.
Try to Clean Every Surface
Needless to say, hearing aids log a lot of time inside of your ears. And there’s a lot going on in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So in the process of helping you hear, it’s not surprising that your hearing aid can get somewhat dirty. Most hearing aid models are designed to handle some earwax accumulation, but it’s a good idea to have a regular cleaning plan too. Here are a few of the problems that can come from too much buildup:
- Discomfort: Earwax can accumulate to the point where the fit of your hearing aid becomes a little tight. The plastic will sometimes need to be replaced if it starts to harden.
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can interfere with the feedback canceling functions of your hearing aid, causing you to hear a whistling noise.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s hiding behind something, maybe it is. There might be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to make certain it’s not covered or blocked by earwax or debris. Clean with your cleaning tool or as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure you are bringing your hearing aids to a professional for routine cleaning and maintenance.
- Examine the earwax filter to ensure it is clean; replace it if needed.
- Lightly clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the problem. When your brain isn’t used to hearing the outside world, it can take a little time to adjust to your new hearing aids. Certain sounds (the buzzing of an air conditioner, for example) may initially come across as unpleasantly loud. You might also detect that particular consonant sounds may seem overly pronounced.
As your brain works to catch up, over time, you’ll adjust.
Even so, it’s important not to let too much time pass, with any problem, before getting help. Your hearing aids should make your life more enjoyable, so if things aren’t working the way they should be, or your hearing aids are uncomfortable, contact us, we can help.