Hearing aids have been proven to support your health in surprising ways including increasing cognitive abilities, reducing depression, and decreasing your risk of falls. Which is why it can be so irritating when these devices have malfunctions. The difference between a pleasant dinner with family or a terrible time can be made by finding a quick solution when your hearing aid begins screeching with feedback or goes silent altogether.
Fortunately, some of the most fundamental hearing aid problems can be eased with a few basic troubleshooting measures. The sooner you ascertain what’s wrong with your hearing aid, the sooner you can go back to what’s important.
Try Changing The Batteries
One of the most common problems with hearing aids is a low battery. Rechargeable batteries come standard with some hearing aid models. Changeable batteries are standard on other models. Here are a few 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: If your hearing aid won’t turn on, or won’t stay on, there’s a good chance the battery is the main problem.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are always straining to hear what’s going on around you.
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound dull like they are far away or underwater.
- Double-check to make sure the right batteries are used. Putting the wrong type of battery in your hearing aid can result in malfunctions. (Sometimes, the wrong kind of battery can be purchased in the correct size, so double-checking is crucial.)
- Verify that the batteries are completely charged. If your hearing aid has rechargeable batteries, charge them for several 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 might have to bring the hearing aid to a professional.
Try Cleaning 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 may get somewhat dirty while helping you hear. In spite of the fact that hearing aids are made to cope with some earwax, it’s a practical idea to have them cleaned now and again. Here are a few of the problems that can come from too much buildup:
- Discomfort: Earwax can buildup to the point where the fit of your hearing aid becomes a little tight. The plastic will sometimes need to be replaced if it begins to harden.
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can interfere with 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 could be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to make certain it is not covered or plugged by debris or earwax. The manufacturer will typically provide a cleaning tool which can be used along with the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction.
- Make sure you are sending your hearing aids to a professional for routine maintenance and cleaning.
- Take care of the filter by examining it and, if needed, replacing it.
- Clean your hearing aid gently in the way that the manufacturer has advised.
You May Just Need a Little Time
In some cases, the issue isn’t an issue with the hearing aid. When your brain isn’t used to hearing the outside world, it can take a little time to get used to your new hearing aids. As your mind adjust, you may notice that specific sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for example). You might also detect that certain consonant sounds might seem overly pronounced.
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 problems before too much time goes by. If your hearing aids are not comfortable or you’re getting continuous noise problems or things don’t seem to be working just the way they should be, we can help get you back on track and make sure you’re enjoying, not enduring, your hearing aids.