Lowering your chance of depression, decreasing the danger of falling, and enhancing cognitive ability are some of the unsuspected health advantages that have been shown to come from wearing hearing aids. Which is why when these devices seem like they malfunction, it’s so frustrating. When you begin detecting screeching feedback, or when your hearing aids suddenly go silent, quick solutions can be the difference between a lovely family dinner or a miserable one.
Fortunately, some of the most basic hearing aid problems can be reduced with a few basic troubleshooting steps. Finding out what’s happening with your hearing aid as quickly as possible will get you back to what’s important all the sooner.
Maybe The Batteries Need to be Swapped Out
A low battery is one of the most prevalent issues with hearing aids. Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries. Other devices are made to have their batteries swapped out. Here are some of the symptoms that may lead you to believe the batteries are the bad guy when your device goes on the fritz:
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: If your hearing aid won’t turn on, or won’t stay on, there’s a good chance the battery is the primary issue.
- Dull sound quality: It feels like somebody is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
- Weak sounds: You’re battling to hear what’s happening around you and that seems to be occurring more and more.
- Make sure you have completely charged batteries. If your hearing aid comes with rechargeable batteries, let them charge for several hours or overnight.
- Double-check to make certain the right batteries are used. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the incorrect battery. (In some cases, the wrong type of battery can be purchased in the right size, so double-checking is essential.)
- If you have replaceable batteries, replace them regularly. You may need to take your hearing aid in to a specialist if the battery is sealed inside.
Try to Clean Every Surface
Hearing aids, obviously, spend a lot of time in your ears. And your ears have a lot taking place inside of them. So it’s no surprise that your hearing aids can get a little dirty in the process of helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are designed to cope with a certain amount of earwax buildup, but it’s a good idea to have a regular cleaning plan too. Here are some of the issues that can come from too much buildup:
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can obstruct the feedback canceling functions of your hearing aid, causing you to hear a whining noise.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s lost behind something, it might just be. There could be earwax or other accumulation getting in the way.
- Discomfort: Earwax can buildup to the point where your hearing aid fits a little tight. The plastic will sometimes need to be replaced if it starts to harden.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Taking your hearing aid to a specialist for regular upkeep is an important procedure.
- Check the earwax filter to ensure it’s clean; replace it if needed.
- Gently clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to ensure it’s not covered or blocked by earwax or debris. The manufacturer will often supply a cleaning tool which can be used along with the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction.
You May Simply Need a Little Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t necessarily the problem. 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 may notice that specific sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for instance). You may also notice that particular consonant sounds might seem overly pronounced.
These are all clues that your brain is racing to catch up to sound again and, before long, you’ll adapt.
Even so, it’s important not to let too much time go by, with any problem, before getting help. Your hearing aids should make your life more enjoyable, so if things aren’t working the way they ought to be, or your hearing aids are uncomfortable, contact us, we can help.