Hearing aids have been proven to support your health in unsuspected ways including increasing cognitive abilities, minimizing depression, and decreasing your risk of falls. Which is why it can be so irritating when these devices have malfunctions. The difference between a pleasant dinner with family or a terrible time can be made by finding a quick solution when your hearing aid starts screeching with feedback or goes silent entirely.
Luckily, there are some practical troubleshooting measures you can take that could ease or address some common hearing aid issues. Finding out what’s wrong with your hearing aid as quickly as possible will get you back to what’s important all the sooner.
Try Swapping Out The Batteries
A low battery is one of the most prevalent challenges with hearing aids. Many hearing aids have rechargeable batteries. Replaceable batteries are standard on other models. Here are a few of the symptoms that might lead you to believe the batteries are the bad guy when your device starts to malfunction:
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound dull like they are far away or underwater.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: There’s a good possibility that your battery is to blame if your hearing aid keeps turning itself off or doesn’t turn on at all.
- Weak sounds: You’re struggling to hear what’s happening around you and that seems to be occurring more and more.
- If you have replaceable batteries, replace them on a regular basis. You may need to take your hearing aid in to a specialist if the battery is sealed inside.
- Make sure you have fully charged batteries. If your hearing aid has rechargeable batteries, let them charge for a few hours or overnight.
- Having the correct batteries is essential so make sure you double check that. Putting the wrong kind of battery into your hearing aid can cause malfunctions. (Occasionally, a battery will appear to be the same size as a different battery so it’s essential that you be careful and check twice.)
Try to Clean Every Surface
Obviously, hearing aids log a lot of time inside your ears. And there’s a lot happening in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So it’s not surprising that your hearing aids may get a little dirty in the process of helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are designed to deal with a certain amount of earwax buildup, but it’s a practical idea to have a routine cleaning plan too. Here are some of the problems that can come from too much buildup:
- Discomfort: Earwax can accumulate to the point where your hearing aid fits a little tight. Occasionally, the plastic in the molds will harden and need to be replaced.
- Feedback: The feedback canceling function on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup generating a whistling sound.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s hiding behind something, it might just be. There could be earwax or other accumulation getting in the way.
- Make sure you are bringing your hearing aids to a professional for regular maintenance and cleaning.
- Examine the earwax filter to ensure it is clean; replace it if needed.
- Clean your hearing aid lightly in the way that the manufacturer has advised.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to ensure it’s not covered or clogged by debris or earwax. The manufacturer will usually supply a cleaning tool which can be employed along with the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction.
You May Simply Need a Little Time
Sometimes, the problem 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. As your mind adjust, you might notice that some sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for example). You may also notice that certain consonant sounds may seem overly pronounced.
As your brain works to catch up, over time, you’ll adapt.
But it’s important to get help with any issues before too much time goes by. If your hearing aids are not comfortable or you’re getting continuous noise problems 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.