Hearing aids have been demonstrated to improve your health in surprising ways including increasing cognitive abilities, reducing depression, and limiting your risk of falls. Which is why when these devices seem like they fail to function properly, it’s so infuriating. When you start observing screeching feedback, or when your hearing aids suddenly go silent, quick solutions can be the difference between a pleasant family dinner or a difficult one.
Fortunately, some of the most fundamental hearing aid problems can be reduced with a few basic troubleshooting steps. The sooner you determine what’s going on 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 issues with hearing aids. Rechargeable batteries come standard with some hearing aid models. Changeable batteries are standard on other hearing aids. If you’re going through 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 far away 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 chance the battery is the primary issue.
- Weak sounds: You’re struggling to hear what’s taking place around you and that seems to be occurring more and more.
Here’s what you do about it:
- Exchange the batteries if your hearing aid is manufactured to allow that. In certain 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 specialist.
- Make sure the batteries are completely charged. If your hearing aid is equipped with rechargeable batteries, charge them for a few hours or overnight.
- Having the right batteries is crucial so make certain you double check that. 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 essential that you be cautious and check twice.)
Try to Clean Every Surface
Needless to say, hearing aids log a lot of time inside your ears. And there’s a lot going on in there (your ears are like party rooms, only more hygienic). So in the process of helping you hear, it’s no surprise that your hearing aid can get a little dirty. Most hearing aid models are designed to deal with some earwax buildup, but it’s a good idea to have a routine cleaning schedule also. A few issues linked to buildup and dirt could include:
- Feedback: It’s possible that earwax buildup can interfere with the feedback canceling functions of your hearing aid, causing you to hear a whistling sound.
- Discomfort: If they feel like they’re suddenly too big for your ears, it might be because earwax accumulation has begun interfering with the fit. The plastic will sometimes need to be replaced if it begins to harden.
- Muffled sound: If your hearing aid sounds like it’s hiding behind something, maybe it is. There may be earwax or other accumulation getting in the way.
- Gently clean your hearing aids, as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Take care of the filter by checking it and, when needed, replacing it.
- The tip of your hearing aid can become covered and plugged up by earwax and debris so look for that. The manufacturer will normally supply a cleaning tool which can be employed along with the manufacturer’s cleaning instruction.
- Ensure you are sending your hearing aids to a specialist for regular cleaning and maintenance.
Try Giving Yourself Some Time
The hearing aid itself isn’t always the problem. When you first put in your hearing aids, your brain has to get accustomed to hearing the outside world again. As your mind adapts, you may notice that certain sounds are unpleasantly loud (the hum of the refrigerator, for example). You may also detect that certain consonant sounds might seem overly pronounced.
These are all signs that your brain is racing to catch up to sound again and, in time, you’ll adjust.
However, it’s worthwhile not to let too much time pass, with any issue, before seeking help. If your hearing aids are uncomfortable or you’re getting continuous 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 make sure you’re enjoying, not enduring, your hearing aids.