Hearing aids have been demonstrated to support your health in unsuspected ways including improving cognitive function, reducing depression, and limiting your risk of falls. Which is why when these devices seem like they fail to function properly, it’s so frustrating. The difference between a delightful dinner with family or a horrible time can be made by discovering a fast remedy when your hearing aid begins screeching with feedback or goes silent entirely.
Luckily, there are some practical troubleshooting steps you can take that could alleviate or address some typical hearing aid problems. Finding out what’s wrong with your hearing aid as quickly as possible will get you back to what’s important all the sooner.
Try Changing The Batteries
One of the most common problems with hearing aids is a low battery. Rechargeable batteries come standard with many hearing aid models. Changeable batteries are standard on other hearing aids. If you’re going through any of these symptoms, it most likely means the batteries are the reason for your hearing aid issues.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are constantly straining to hear what’s going on around you.
- Dull sound quality: It feels as if somebody is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: There’s a good chance that your battery is the issue if your hearing aid keeps turning itself off or won’t turn on at all.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Make sure you have fully charged batteries. Allow your rechargeable batteries to charge overnight or at least for several hours.
- Replace the batteries if your hearing aid is designed to allow that. In certain cases, rechargeable batteries are sealed into the device, and if that’s the situation, you may have to take the hearing aid to a specialist.
- Having the correct batteries is crucial so make sure you double check that. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the wrong battery. (Sometimes, a battery will appear to be the same size as a different battery so it’s crucial that you be cautious and check twice.)
Try Cleaning Every Surface
Hearing aids, naturally, spend a lot of time in your ears. And your ears have a lot taking place inside of them. So it’s not surprising that your hearing aids will get a little dirty in the process of helping you hear. In spite of the fact that hearing aids are designed to cope with some earwax, it’s a practical idea to get them cleaned now and again. Here are a few of the problems that can come from too much buildup:
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can interfere with the feedback canceling functions of your hearing aid, causing you to hear a whistling noise.
- Discomfort: Earwax can buildup to the point where the fit of your hearing aid becomes a little tight. Occasionally, the plastic in the molds will harden and need to be exchanged.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s hiding behind something, maybe it is. There may be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Clean your hearing aid lightly in the way that the manufacturer has directed.
- Make sure you are sending your hearing aids to a specialist for regular cleaning and maintenance.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to make sure it is not covered or clogged by debris or earwax. The manufacturer will typically provide a cleaning tool which can be employed along with the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction.
- Check the earwax filter to make sure it’s clean; replace it if necessary.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the problem. When you first put in your hearing aids, your brain needs to get used to hearing the world again. As your mind adjust, you might notice that some sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for instance). You might also notice that particular consonant sounds may seem overly pronounced.
These are all clues that your brain is racing to catch up to auditory stimuli again and, in time, you’ll adapt.
But it’s worthwhile to get help with any problems before too much time passes. If your hearing aids are not comfortable 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.