Hearing aids have been shown to improve your health in unsuspected ways including increasing cognitive function, reducing depression, and decreasing your risk of falls. Which is why when these devices seem like they malfunction, it’s so infuriating. The difference between an enjoyable dinner with family or a horrible time can be made by finding a fast solution when your hearing aid begins screeching with feedback or goes silent altogether.
Luckily, there are some practical troubleshooting steps you can take that could alleviate or address some common hearing aid problems. 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 Changed
One of the most prevalent problems with hearing aids is a low battery. Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries. Other devices are manufactured to have their batteries swapped out. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it most likely means the batteries are to blame for your hearing aid issues.
- Dull sound quality: It feels as if somebody is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are constantly struggling to hear what’s going on around you.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: There’s a good possibility that your battery is the issue if your hearing aid keeps shutting itself off or doesn’t turn on at all.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Check twice to make certain the right batteries are installed. Putting the wrong type of battery into your hearing aid can cause malfunctions. (In some cases, the wrong type of battery can be purchased in the correct size, so double-checking is essential.)
- If you have replaceable batteries, swap them out on a regular basis. In some situations, rechargeable batteries are sealed inside of the device, and if that’s the case, you may need to bring the hearing aid to a specialist.
- Make sure you have fully charged batteries. If your hearing aid has rechargeable batteries, let them charge for a few hours or overnight.
Every Surface Should be Cleaned
Obviously, hearing aids log a lot of time inside your ears. And your ears have a lot taking place inside of them. So it’s no surprise that your hearing aids may get somewhat dirty while helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are designed to handle a certain amount of earwax buildup, but it’s a good idea to have a regular cleaning schedule too. A few issues related to buildup and dirt may include:
- 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.
- Feedback: The feedback canceling feature on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup causing a whistling noise.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s lost behind something, it might just be. There may be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Make sure you are sending your hearing aids to a specialist for routine maintenance and cleaning.
- Maintain the filter by checking it and, if needed, replacing it.
- 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 clogged by earwax or debris. The manufacturer will often supply a cleaning tool which can be employed along with the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction.
Try Giving Yourself a Little Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t necessarily the issue. When you first pop in your hearing aids, your brain needs to get accustomed to hearing the outside world again. Particular sounds (the buzzing of an air conditioner, for example) may initially seem unpleasantly loud. You may also detect that certain consonant sounds might 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 worthwhile to get help with any problems before too much time passes. 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 ensure you’re enjoying, not enduring, your hearing aids.