Hearing aids have been shown to benefit your health in unsuspected ways including increasing cognitive function, reducing depression, and decreasing your chance of falling. Which is why it can be so aggravating when these devices fail to function properly. When you start observing buzzing feedback, or when your hearing aids abruptly stop working, expedient solutions can be the difference between a wonderful family dinner or a miserable one.
The good news is, there are some basic troubleshooting steps you can take which may relieve or address some common hearing aid problems. The sooner you ascertain what’s going on with your hearing aid, the sooner you can get back to what’s important.
Maybe The Batteries Need to be Swapped Out
A low battery is one of the most common challenges with hearing aids. Many hearing aids come with rechargeable batteries. Other devices are made to have their batteries exchanged. Here are a few of the symptoms that could lead you to believe the batteries are the culprit when your device starts to malfunction:
- Weak sounds: You’re battling to hear what’s taking place around you and that seems to be occurring more and more.
- Hearing aids won’t turn on: If your hearing aid won’t turn on, or keeps shutting off, there’s a good possibility the battery is the primary issue.
- Dull sound quality: Voices sound dull like they are distant or underwater.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Make sure the batteries are fully charged. If your hearing aid comes with rechargeable batteries, let them charge for several hours or overnight.
- Swap out the batteries if your hearing aid is manufactured to allow that. In some situations, rechargeable batteries are sealed into the device, and if that’s the case, you may have to take the hearing aid to a professional.
- Having the correct batteries is crucial so make sure you double-check that. Your hearing aid can be damaged by the incorrect battery. (At times, the wrong kind of battery can be purchased in the right size, so double-checking is essential.)
Try Cleaning Every Surface
Hearing aids, naturally, 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 will get a little dirty while helping you hear. Most hearing aid models are designed to handle some earwax accumulation, but it’s a practical idea to have a regular cleaning plan too. A few issues connected to buildup and dirt might include:
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can obstruct the feedback canceling features of your hearing aid, causing you to hear a whistling sound.
- Discomfort: If they feel as if they’re suddenly too large for your ears, it could be because earwax accumulation has started interfering with the fit. The plastic will sometimes need to be replaced if it begins to harden.
- Muffled sound: Earwax and other buildup can cause your hearing aid to sound like it’s buried beneath something.
- Taking your hearing aid to a professional for routine upkeep is an important procedure.
- Take care of the filter by examining it and, when needed, replacing it.
- Gently clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become coated and plugged up by earwax and debris so look for that. Clean with your cleaning tool or as advised by the manufacturer’s instructions.
Try Giving Yourself a Little Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the problem. When you first pop in your hearing aids, your brain has to get accustomed to hearing the outside world again. As your mind adjust, you may notice that specific sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for instance). You may also detect that certain consonant sounds might 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 important not to let too much time go by, with any problem, before seeking help. If your hearing aids are uncomfortable or you’re getting constant noise issues 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.