Hearing aids have been shown to support your health in unsuspected ways including enhancing cognitive function, reducing depression, and decreasing your risk of falls. Which is why when your hearing aids seem like they malfunction, it’s so infuriating. When you begin noticing screeching feedback, or when your hearing aids suddenly go silent, expedient solutions can be the difference between a wonderful family dinner or a difficult one.
Fortunately, some of the most fundamental hearing aid problems can be alleviated with a few basic troubleshooting steps. The faster you figure out what’s wrong with your hearing aid, the sooner you can go back to what’s important.
Try Swapping Out The Batteries
A low battery is one of the most common issues with hearing aids. Some hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. Replaceable batteries are standard on other models. Here are some of the symptoms that might lead you to believe the batteries are the culprit 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 turning itself off or doesn’t turn on at all.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are always straining to hear what’s happening around you.
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound muffled like they are far away or underwater.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Check twice to make certain the right batteries are installed. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the wrong battery. (At times, the wrong kind of battery can be purchased in the correct size, so double-checking is important.)
- Make sure the batteries are 100 % charged. If your hearing aid has rechargeable batteries, charge them for a few hours or overnight.
- Exchange the batteries if your hearing aid is designed to allow that. In some situations, rechargeable batteries are sealed inside of the device, and if that’s the case, you may have to bring the hearing aid to a professional.
Try to Clean Every Surface
Needless to say, hearing aids log a lot of time inside your ears. And your ears have a lot going on inside of them. So while helping you hear, it’s no surprise that your hearing aid can get a little dirty. Despite the fact that hearing aids are designed to deal with some earwax, it’s a good idea to get them cleaned now and again. A few problems connected to buildup and dirt could include:
- Feedback: The feedback canceling feature on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup generating a whistling noise.
- Discomfort: Earwax can accumulate to the point where the fit of your hearing aid becomes a little tight. The plastic will sometimes need to be replaced if it starts to harden.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s lost behind something, it might just be. There might be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Take care of the filter by checking it and, if needed, replacing it.
- Clean your hearing aid gently in the way that the manufacturer has instructed.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become coated and plugged up by earwax and debris so check for that. Clean with your cleaning tool or as advised by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure you are sending your hearing aids to a specialist for regular cleaning and maintenance.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
Sometimes, the issue isn’t an issue with the hearing aid. When your brain isn’t used to hearing the outside world, it can take some time to get used to your new hearing aids. Specific sounds (the buzzing of an air conditioner, for example) may at first come across as unpleasantly loud. You might also detect that particular consonant sounds may seem overly pronounced.
These are all signs that your brain is racing to catch up to sound again and, in time, you’ll adjust.
But it’s worthwhile to get help with any problems before too much time goes by. If your hearing aids are uncomfortable or you’re experiencing continuous noise issues or things don’t seem to be working just the way they ought to be, we can help get you back on track and ensure you’re enjoying, not enduring, your hearing aids.