Hearing aids have been shown to benefit your health in unexpected ways including boosting cognitive function, minimizing depression, and decreasing your chance of falling. 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 abruptly stop working, expedient solutions can be the difference between a pleasant family dinner or a miserable one.
Luckily, there are some basic troubleshooting measures you can take which could ease or address some common hearing aid problems. Finding out what’s wrong with your hearing aid as fast as you will get you back to what’s important all the sooner.
Try Swapping Out The Batteries
One of the most common problems with hearing aids is a low battery. Rechargeable batteries come standard with some hearing aid models. Other devices are designed to have their batteries exchanged. Here are some of the symptoms that could give you a clue that the batteries are the bad guy when your device starts to malfunction:
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are constantly straining to hear what’s happening around you.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: There’s a good possibility that your battery is to blame if your hearing aid keeps shutting itself off or won’t turn on at all.
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound muffled like they are far away or underwater.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Ensure the batteries are completely charged. Let your rechargeable batteries charge overnight or at least for several hours.
- Double-check to make sure the correct batteries are installed. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the wrong battery. (Sometimes, the wrong kind of battery can be purchased in the right size, so double-checking is important.)
- Swap out the batteries if your hearing aid is manufactured to allow that. You may have to take your hearing aid in to a specialist if the battery is sealed inside.
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 it’s no surprise that your hearing aids can get a little dirty while helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are manufactured to cope with a certain amount of earwax buildup, but it’s a practical idea to have a regular cleaning schedule too. Here are some of the problems that can come from too much buildup:
- Discomfort: Earwax can accumulate 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: 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 hiding behind something, maybe it is. There might be earwax or other accumulation getting in the way.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Check the earwax filter to ensure it’s clean; replace it if necessary.
- Bringing your hearing aid to a professional for routine upkeep is an important procedure.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become coated and clogged up by earwax and debris so look for that. The manufacturer will usually supply a cleaning tool which can be used along with the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction.
- Gently clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Try Giving Yourself a Little Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t necessarily 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. Particular sounds (the buzzing of an air conditioner, for example) may at first seem unpleasantly loud. And some consonants often sound louder than the rest of the speech.
These are all clues that your brain is racing to catch up to auditory stimuli again and, in time, you’ll adjust.
But it’s important to get help with any issues before too much time goes by. 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.