Reducing your chance of depression, minimizing your risk of falling, and increasing cognitive ability are some of the surprising health benefits that have been shown to come from using hearing aids. Which is why it can be so aggravating when these devices have malfunctions. 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 quits altogether.
Fortunately, some of the most fundamental hearing aid problems can be reduced with a few basic troubleshooting measures. The faster you determine what’s wrong with your hearing aid, the sooner you can get back to what’s important.
Maybe The Batteries Need to be Swapped Out
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 models. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it most likely means the batteries are the reason for your hearing aid problems.
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound muffled like they are distant or underwater.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: If your hearing aid doesn’t turn on, or won’t stay on, there’s a good possibility the battery is the primary issue.
- Weak sounds: You’re battling to hear what’s happening around you and that seems to be occurring more frequently.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Replace the batteries if your hearing aid is designed to allow that. You may have to take your hearing aid in to a professional if the battery is sealed inside.
- Having the right batteries is crucial so make sure you double check that. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the wrong battery. (Occasionally, a battery will seem to be the same size as a different battery so it’s crucial that you be careful and check twice.)
- Make certain you have fully charged batteries. If your hearing aid comes with rechargeable batteries, charge them for several hours or overnight.
Every Surface Needs to be Cleaned
Hearing aids, obviously, spend a lot of time in your ears. And there’s a lot taking place in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So it’s no surprise that your hearing aids can get somewhat dirty in the process of helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are designed to handle some earwax buildup, but it’s a practical idea to have a routine cleaning plan also. Here are some of the problems that can come from too much buildup:
- Discomfort: Earwax can buildup to the point where your hearing aid fits a little tight. The plastic will sometimes need to be replaced if it starts to harden.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s hiding behind something, it might just be. There may be earwax or other buildup getting in the way.
- 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.
- Clean your hearing aid carefully in the way that the manufacturer has directed.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to make sure it is not covered or clogged by debris or earwax. Clean with your cleaning tool or as advised by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Maintain the filter by checking it and, when needed, replacing it.
- Make sure you are sending your hearing aids to a professional for regular cleaning and maintenance.
You May Simply Need 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 time to get used to your new hearing aids. As your mind adjust, you might notice that certain sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for instance). You may also detect that certain consonant sounds may seem overly pronounced.
These are all indications 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. If your hearing aids are not comfortable or you’re experiencing continuous noise issues or things don’t seem to be working exactly the way they ought to be, we can help get you back on track and make sure you’re enjoying, not enduring, your hearing aids.