Hearing aids have been shown to support your health in surprising ways including improving cognitive function, reducing depression, and limiting your risk of falls. Which is why it can be so frustrating when these devices fail to function properly. When you begin observing buzzing feedback, or when your hearing aids suddenly go silent, quick solutions can be the difference between a lovely family dinner or a miserable one.
Luckily, there are some practical troubleshooting steps you can take that may alleviate or manage some typical hearing aid issues. The sooner you ascertain what’s wrong with your hearing aid, the sooner you can get back to what’s important.
Try Changing The Batteries
A low battery is one of the most prevalent issues with hearing aids. Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries. Other devices are designed to have their batteries exchanged. Here are some of the symptoms that might give you a clue that 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 principal problem.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are always straining to hear what’s happening around you.
- Dull sound quality: It seems as if somebody is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Exchange the batteries if your hearing aid is designed to allow that. In certain cases, rechargeable batteries are sealed inside of the device, and if that’s the case, you might need to take the hearing aid to a specialist.
- Ensure the batteries are 100 % charged. Allow your rechargeable batteries to charge overnight or at least for several hours.
- Check twice to make certain the correct batteries are installed. Putting the wrong type of battery into your hearing aid can cause malfunctions. (Occasionally, a battery will appear to be the same size as a different battery so it’s crucial that you be cautious and check twice.)
Every Surface Should be Cleaned
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 some earwax buildup, but it’s a practical idea to have a regular cleaning schedule too. A few problems linked to buildup and dirt might include:
- Discomfort: If they feel as if they’re suddenly too big for your ears, it could be because earwax accumulation has begun interfering with the fit. Occasionally, the plastic in the molds will harden and need to be exchanged.
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can obstruct the feedback canceling functions of your hearing aid, causing you to hear a whining sound.
- Muffled sound: Earwax and other buildup can make your hearing aid sound like it’s buried beneath something.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become covered and plugged up by earwax and debris so check for that. Clean with your cleaning tool or as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Gently clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- 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.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
In some cases, the problem isn’t a problem with the hearing aid. When you first pop in your hearing aids, your brain has to get accustomed to hearing the outside world again. As your mind adjust, you might notice that specific sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for instance). And certain consonants often sound louder than the rest of the speech.
These are all signs that your brain is racing to catch up to auditory stimuli again and, in time, you’ll adapt.
However, it’s important not to let too much time pass, with any issue, before getting help. If your hearing aids are not comfortable or you’re experiencing constant 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.