Hearing aids have been demonstrated to benefit your health in surprising ways including increasing cognitive abilities, reducing depression, and decreasing your risk of falls. Which is why when these devices seem like they malfunction, it’s so frustrating. When you start noticing buzzing feedback, or when your hearing aids abruptly stop working, quick solutions can be the difference between a pleasant family dinner or a difficult one.
The good news is, there are some basic troubleshooting steps you can take which may relieve or address some common hearing aid issues. The faster you figure out what’s wrong with your hearing aid, the sooner you can get back to what’s important.
Try Swapping Out The Batteries
A low battery is one of the most prevalent challenges with hearing aids. Some hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. Other devices are designed to have their batteries changed. Here are a few of the symptoms that could give you a clue that the batteries are the culprit 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 main problem.
- Weak sounds: You’re struggling to hear what’s happening around you and that seems to be occurring more and more.
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound muffled like they are far away or underwater.
- If you have replaceable batteries, swap them out regularly. In some cases, rechargeable batteries are sealed inside of the device, and if that’s the case, you may have to take the hearing aid to a specialist.
- Make sure the batteries are 100 % charged. If your hearing aid is equipped with rechargeable batteries, charge them for several hours or overnight.
- Double-check to make sure the right batteries are installed. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the wrong battery. (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.)
Try Cleaning Every Surface
Obviously, hearing aids log a lot of time inside your ears. And there’s a lot happening in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So while helping you hear, it’s not surprising that your hearing aid can get somewhat dirty. Most hearing aid models are manufactured to cope with a certain amount of earwax accumulation, but it’s a practical idea to have a routine cleaning schedule also. A few issues related to buildup and dirt may include:
- Discomfort: If they feel like they’re suddenly too big for your ears, it might be because earwax accumulation has started interfering with the fit. The plastic will sometimes need to be replaced if it begins to harden.
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can obstruct the feedback canceling features of your hearing aid, causing you to hear a whistling noise.
- Muffled sound: Earwax and other buildup can cause your hearing aid to sound like it’s buried beneath something.
- Check the earwax filter to ensure it is clean; replace it if needed.
- Ensure you are sending your hearing aids to a specialist for regular maintenance and cleaning.
- Double-check the tip of the hearing aid to make certain it’s not covered or blocked by earwax or debris. Clean with your cleaning tool or as advised by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Clean your hearing aid gently in the way that the manufacturer has recommended.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the issue. When you first pop in your hearing aids, your brain needs to get used to hearing the world again. As your mind adjust, you may notice that some sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for example). You might also detect that particular consonant sounds may seem overly pronounced.
These are all indications that your brain is racing to catch up to sound again and, before long, you’ll adjust.
Even so, it’s worthwhile not to let too much time pass, with any issue, before getting help. If your hearing aids are uncomfortable or you’re experiencing continuous noise issues or things don’t seem to be working just 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.