Reducing your chance of depression, decreasing your risk of falling, and enhancing cognitive ability are some of the unexpected health advantages that have been shown to come from using hearing aids. Which is why it can be so frustrating when these devices have malfunctions. The difference between an enjoyable dinner with family or a horrible time can be made by finding a fast remedy when your hearing aid begins screeching with feedback or quits entirely.
The good news is, there are some practical troubleshooting steps you can take which could relieve or address some common 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.
Maybe The Batteries Need to be Swapped Out
One of the most prevalent issues with hearing aids is a low battery. Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries. Other devices are made to have their batteries exchanged. Here are some of the symptoms that may give you a clue that the batteries are the bad guy when your device starts to malfunction:
- 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.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are constantly struggling to hear what’s going on around you.
- Dull sound quality: It feels like somebody is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Make sure you have completely charged batteries. Let your rechargeable batteries charge overnight or for at least a few hours.
- Double-check to make sure the correct batteries are installed. Putting the wrong type of battery into your hearing aid can cause malfunctions. (Sometimes, a battery will seem to be the same size as a different battery so it’s essential that you be cautious and check twice.)
- Swap out the batteries if your hearing aid is designed to allow that. You may need to bring your hearing aid in to a professional if the battery is sealed inside.
Every Surface Needs to be Cleaned
Hearing aids, naturally, spend a lot of time in your ears. And there’s a lot going on in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So it’s not surprising that your hearing aids will get a little dirty in the process of helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are manufactured to deal with a certain amount of earwax accumulation, but it’s a practical idea to have a regular cleaning plan also. A few problems linked to buildup and dirt could include:
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s hiding behind something, maybe it is. There could be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
- Discomfort: Earwax can accumulate to the point where the fit of your hearing aid becomes a little tight. The plastic will occasionally need to be replaced if it begins to harden.
- Feedback: The feedback canceling feature on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup causing a whistling sound.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become coated and plugged up by earwax and debris so look for that. Clean with your cleaning tool or as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Take care of the filter by examining it and, if needed, replacing it.
- Carefully clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s suggestions.
- Bringing your hearing aid to a professional for regular upkeep is an important procedure.
You May Just Need Some Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the problem. When your brain isn’t used to hearing the outside world, it can take a little time to get used to your new hearing aids. As your mind adapts, you might notice that some sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for example). You might also detect that certain consonant sounds might seem overly pronounced.
As your brain works to catch up, over time, you’ll adapt.
Even so, it’s worthwhile not to let too much time pass, with any problem, before seeking help. If your hearing aids are uncomfortable or you’re experiencing 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.