Hearing aids have been shown to support your health in unsuspected ways including improving cognitive abilities, reducing 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 make the difference between a pleasant family dinner or a miserable one.
The good news is, there are some practical troubleshooting steps you can take which may ease or address some typical hearing aid issues. The faster you figure out what’s wrong with your hearing aid, the sooner you can go back to what’s important.
Try Changing The Batteries
One of the most common problems with hearing aids is a low battery. 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 bad guy when your device starts to malfunction:
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: If your hearing aid doesn’t turn on, or keeps shutting off, there’s a good possibility the battery is the main issue.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are always straining to hear what’s going on around you.
- Dull sound quality: It seems like somebody is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
- Having the right batteries is crucial so make sure you double check that. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the wrong battery. (Sometimes, the wrong type of battery can be purchased in the correct size, so double-checking is essential.)
- Replace the batteries if your hearing aid is designed to allow that. You may need to take your hearing aid in to a specialist if the battery is sealed inside.
- Verify that the batteries are completely charged. If your hearing aid is equipped with rechargeable batteries, let them charge for a few hours or overnight.
Try Cleaning Every Surface
Hearing aids, obviously, spend a lot of time in your ears. And there’s a lot happening in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So while helping you hear, it’s not surprising that your hearing aid can get a little dirty. Most hearing aid models are manufactured to deal with a certain amount of earwax accumulation, but it’s a practical idea to have a routine cleaning schedule too. Here are a few of the issues that can come from too much buildup:
- Discomfort: If they feel like they’re suddenly too large for your ears, it may be because earwax buildup has started interfering with the fit. Sometimes, the plastic in the molds will harden and need to be replaced.
- Muffled sound: Earwax and other buildup can make your hearing aid sound like it’s buried beneath something.
- Feedback: The feedback canceling function on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup creating a whistling sound.
- Make sure you are sending your hearing aids to a specialist for routine cleaning and maintenance.
- Take care of the filter by examining it and, if needed, replacing it.
- Gently clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s suggestions.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become covered and plugged up by earwax and debris so look for that. Clean with your cleaning tool or as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always 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. Specific sounds (the buzzing of an air conditioner, for example) might initially seem unpleasantly loud. And some consonants frequently sound louder than the rest of the speech.
As your brain works to catch up, before long, you’ll adjust.
However, it’s important not to let too much time pass, with any issue, before getting help. If your hearing aids are uncomfortable or you’re experiencing continuous noise problems or things don’t seem to be working exactly the way they should be, we can help get you back on track and make sure you’re enjoying, not enduring, your hearing aids.