Hearing aids have been demonstrated to benefit your health in surprising ways including enhancing cognitive function, minimizing depression, and limiting your risk of falls. Which is why it can be so aggravating when these devices have malfunctions. When you start observing screeching feedback, or when your hearing aids abruptly stop working, quick solutions can be the difference between a wonderful family dinner or a miserable one.
The good news is, there are some basic troubleshooting steps you can take that may ease or manage some typical hearing aid issues. The sooner you figure out what’s going on with your hearing aid, the sooner you can go back to what’s important.
Try Changing 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 models. Here are some of the symptoms that may give you a clue that the batteries are the culprit when your device starts to malfunction:
- 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 primary problem.
- Dull sound quality: It seems as if someone is talking to you underwater or from across the room.
- Weak sounds: You’re struggling to hear what’s taking place around you and that seems to be occurring more frequently.
Here’s what you do about it:
- If you have replaceable batteries, swap them out on a regular basis. You may need to take your hearing aid in to a specialist if the battery is sealed inside.
- Make sure the batteries are 100 % charged. If your hearing aid comes with rechargeable batteries, charge them for a few hours or overnight.
- Having the correct batteries is crucial so make sure you double check that. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the incorrect battery. (Occasionally, a battery will appear to be the same size as a different battery so it’s essential that you be cautious and check twice.)
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 it’s no surprise that your hearing aids may get a little dirty while helping you hear. Despite the fact that hearing aids are designed to deal with some earwax, it’s a practical idea to have them cleaned once in a while. A few problems related to buildup and dirt could include:
- Muffled sound: Earwax and other buildup can cause your hearing aid to sound like it’s buried underneath something.
- Discomfort: If they feel like they’re suddenly too big for your ears, it could be because earwax accumulation has started interfering with the fit. Occasionally, the plastic in the molds will harden and need to be replaced.
- Feedback: The feedback canceling function on your hearing aid can be interrupted by earwax buildup causing a whistling noise.
- Gently clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Taking your hearing aid to a professional for routine upkeep is an essential procedure.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to make certain it is not covered or blocked by earwax or debris. Clean with your cleaning tool or as advised by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Check the earwax filter to make sure it’s clean; replace it if necessary.
Try Giving Yourself a Little Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the problem. When you first put in your hearing aids, your brain needs to get accustomed to hearing the world again. As your mind adjust, you may notice that certain sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for instance). You might also notice that certain consonant sounds may seem overly pronounced.
These are all signs that your brain is racing to catch up to auditory stimuli again and, before long, you’ll adapt.
But it’s important to get help with any problems before too much time passes. 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, give us a call, we can help.