If you’ve got hearing aids, you should be capable of hearing, right? When they aren’t working right, it can be extremely infuriating, it’s a real “You had ONE job” situation. The good news is, with regular upkeep, your hearing aids should continue to function efficiently.
Before you do anything drastic, look at this list. It might be time to come in and talk with us if you find it’s not one of these common issues. For instance, your hearing aids might need recalibration, or your hearing could have changed.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
Hearing aid batteries, while improving in quality, still require recharging and replacing occasionally. That means that it’s essential to keep up with your hearing aids’ batteries. If it seems as if the sound is diminishing or cutting in and out, check your battery first.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
Purchasing a battery tester, particularly if you like to stock up, is a smart idea. Even if you keep batteries sealed until it’s time to use them, always a smart plan, they have a limited shelf life, and so the last batteries in that giant pack you purchased months ago probably won’t hold a charge as long as the first few did. Another trick: Wait five minutes after you open new batteries before you put them in your hearing aids. This can help the batteries last longer by allowing the zinc to activate.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
Your hearing aids will gather dirt and debris regardless of how clean you keep your ears and if you have problems hearing you’re probably more conscientious about earwax. You might find yourself with a dirt issue if sounds seem a little off or distorted.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can purchase a kit for keeping your hearing aids clean or you can use things you already have around the house to keep them clean. Once you’ve disassembled your hearing aids, use a soft, microfiber cloth (like you’d use to clean glasses or smartphone) to wipe down the hardware.
Simple hygiene habits will really help with keeping your hearing aids clean. Wash and dry your hands before you take care of your hearing aids, and remove them while you’re doing things, like washing your face, styling your hair, or even shaving, that might put them at risk of being spritzed, sprayed, or splashed.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Even a small amount of moisture can really damage your hearing aid (think working up a sweat, not deep-sea diving). Even humidity in the air can be a problem, clogging up the hearing aid’s air vents or causing batteries to drain faster. Depending on how much moisture’s entered, you may experience problems from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They might even appear to quit altogether.
The fix: Keep ‘em Dry
Make sure that when you store your hearing aids, the battery door is open; and if you’re storing them for longer than 24 hours, remove the batteries entirely. Any captured moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to flow with almost no effort on your part.
Store hearing aids in a cool, dry spot. Don’t keep them in the bathroom or kitchen. Although the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is specifically what you don’t want. You will most likely want to purchase a hearing aid storage box if you live in a very humid climate. More expensive models plug in, but less expensive options use desiccants or gels (yes, like those “throw away do not eat” packets you find in the box when you buy a pair of shoes) to take in moisture.
None of the above are working out? It might be time to speak with us.