Hearing aids have been shown to benefit your health in unexpected ways including improving cognitive function, minimizing depression, and limiting your chance of falling. Which is why when these devices seem like they malfunction, it’s so infuriating. The difference between an enjoyable dinner with family or a horrible time can be made by discovering a fast solution when your hearing aid starts screeching with feedback or quits altogether.
Luckily, there are some practical troubleshooting steps you can take that 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
A low battery is one of the most common issues with hearing aids. Rechargeable batteries come standard with some hearing aid models. Replaceable batteries are standard on other hearing aids. Here are a few of the symptoms that could lead you to believe the batteries are the culprit when your device goes on the fritz:
- Weak sounds: You’re battling to hear what’s happening around you and that seems to be occurring more frequently.
- Dull sound quality: It seems as if somebody is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: There’s a good chance that your battery is to blame if your hearing aid keeps shutting itself off or doesn’t turn on at all.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Exchange the batteries if your hearing aid is designed to allow that. In some cases, rechargeable batteries are sealed into the device, and if that’s the situation, you might have to bring the hearing aid to a specialist.
- Make certain you have completely charged batteries. If your hearing aid is equipped with rechargeable batteries, let them charge for a few hours or overnight.
- Check twice to make certain the right batteries are installed. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the wrong battery. (At times, the wrong type of battery can be purchased in the right size, so double-checking is important.)
Try Cleaning Every Surface
Obviously, 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 it’s no surprise that your hearing aids will get a little dirty in the process of helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are designed to deal with some earwax buildup, but it’s a good idea to have a regular cleaning schedule too. Here are some of the issues that can come from too much buildup:
- Discomfort: If they feel as though they’re suddenly too large for your ears, it may be because earwax accumulation has begun interfering with the fit. Sometimes, the plastic in the molds will harden and need to be exchanged.
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can interfere with the feedback canceling features of your hearing aid, causing you to hear a whistling sound.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s lost behind something, maybe it is. There might be earwax or other accumulation getting in the way.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Lightly clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure you are sending your hearing aids to a professional for routine maintenance and cleaning.
- Maintain the filter by examining it and, if needed, replacing it.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become covered and clogged up by earwax and debris so look for that. Clean with your cleaning tool or as advised by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t necessarily the issue. 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. As your mind adapts, you may notice that certain sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for example). And some consonants often sound louder than the rest of the speech.
As your brain works to catch up, over time, you’ll adapt.
But it’s worthwhile to get help with any problems before too much time passes. If your hearing aids are not comfortable or you’re experiencing continuous noise issues or things don’t seem to be working just the way they should be, we can help get you back on track and ensure you’re enjoying, not enduring, your hearing aids.