Hearing aids have been shown to support your health in surprising ways including boosting cognitive abilities, minimizing depression, and decreasing your risk of falls. Which is why when these devices seem like they malfunction, it’s so infuriating. The difference between a pleasant dinner with family or a terrible time can be made by discovering a fast solution when your hearing aid begins screeching with feedback or goes silent entirely.
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 Changing The Batteries
A low battery is one of the most common challenges with hearing aids. Many hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. Replaceable batteries are standard on other models. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it probably means the batteries are the reason for your hearing aid issues.
- Weak sounds: You feel like you are constantly struggling to hear what’s happening around you.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: If your hearing aid doesn’t turn on, or won’t stay on, there’s a good chance the battery is the primary problem.
- Dull sound quality: It seems as if someone is talking to you underwater or from the other side of the room.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Double-check to make certain the right batteries are used. Putting the wrong type of battery into your hearing aid can lead to malfunctions. (Occasionally, a battery will seem to be the same size as a different battery so it’s essential that you be cautious and check twice.)
- Make sure you have completely charged batteries. If your hearing aid comes with rechargeable batteries, charge them for a few hours or overnight.
- If you have replaceable batteries, swap them out regularly. 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.
Every Surface Needs to be Cleaned
Obviously, hearing aids log a lot of time inside of your ears. And your ears have a lot going on inside of them. So in the process of helping you hear, it’s no surprise that your hearing aid can get a bit dirty. Most hearing aid models are designed to deal with some earwax buildup, but it’s a good idea to have a regular cleaning plan also. Here are a few of the issues that can come from too much buildup:
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s hiding behind something, it might just be. There could be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
- Discomfort: If they feel like they’re suddenly too big for your ears, it may be because earwax accumulation has started interfering with the fit. Occasionally, the plastic in the molds will harden and need to be replaced.
- Feedback: The feedback canceling feature on your hearing aid can be disrupted by earwax buildup creating a whistling noise.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to make sure it is not covered or blocked by earwax or debris. Clean with your cleaning tool or as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Clean your hearing aid lightly in the way that the manufacturer has recommended.
- Ensure you are sending your hearing aids to a professional for regular cleaning and maintenance.
- Take care of the filter by checking it and, when needed, replacing it.
You May Simply Need a Little Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the issue. When you first put in your hearing aids, your brain needs to get used to hearing the outside world again. As your mind adjust, you might notice that some sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for example). You may also detect that particular consonant sounds may seem overly pronounced.
These are all signs 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 experiencing constant noise problems 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.