Hearing aids have been proven to benefit your health in surprising ways including enhancing cognitive function, minimizing depression, and decreasing your risk of falls. Which is why it can be so frustrating when these devices have malfunctions. When you begin detecting screeching feedback, or when your hearing aids suddenly stop working, quick solutions can be the difference between a lovely family dinner or a miserable one.
The good news is, there are some practical troubleshooting measures you can take that could alleviate or address some typical hearing aid issues. The faster you determine what’s going on with your hearing aid, the sooner you can get back to what’s important.
Try Changing The Batteries
A low battery is one of the most common issues with hearing aids. Some hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. Changeable batteries are standard on other models. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it most likely means the batteries are to blame for your hearing aid issues.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are always struggling to hear what’s happening around you.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: If your hearing aid won’t turn on, or keeps shutting off, there’s a good chance the battery is the principal issue.
- Dull sound quality: It seems like somebody is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Double-check to make certain the right batteries are installed. Putting the wrong type of battery in your hearing aid can cause malfunctions. (At times, the wrong type of battery can be purchased in the right size, so double-checking is crucial.)
- Ensure the batteries are fully charged. If your hearing aid has rechargeable batteries, let them charge for a few hours or overnight.
- If you have replaceable batteries, replace them regularly. In certain situations, rechargeable batteries are sealed inside of the device, and if that’s the situation, you might have to bring the hearing aid to a specialist.
Every Surface Needs to be Cleaned
Obviously, hearing aids log a lot of time inside of your ears. And your ears have a lot going on inside of them. So it’s not surprising that your hearing aids can get a little dirty while helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are manufactured to handle some earwax accumulation, but it’s a practical idea to have a routine cleaning schedule also. Here are some of the problems that can come from too much buildup:
- Feedback: The feedback canceling function on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup creating a whistling noise.
- Discomfort: Earwax can accumulate to the point where your hearing aid fits a little tight. The plastic will occasionally need to be replaced if it begins to harden.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s lost behind something, maybe it is. There could be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Make sure you are bringing your hearing aids to a professional for routine maintenance and cleaning.
- Gently clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Check the earwax filter to make sure it is clean; replace it if necessary.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to make sure it’s not covered or plugged by earwax or debris. The manufacturer will usually supply a cleaning tool which can be employed along with the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
Sometimes, the issue isn’t a problem with the hearing aid. When your brain isn’t used to hearing the outside world, it can take a little bit of time to adjust to your new hearing aids. Specific sounds (the buzzing of an air conditioner, for instance) may at first seem unpleasantly loud. You may also notice that certain consonant sounds might seem overly pronounced.
As your brain works to catch up, over time, you’ll adapt.
But it’s important to get help with any problems before too much time goes by. If your hearing aids are uncomfortable or you’re getting constant 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.