If you have hearing aids, you should be capable of hearing, right? When they aren’t working correctly, it can be thoroughly frustrating, it’s a total “You had ONE job” situation. Here’s the good news, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should be up to the job.
Consider this list before you do anything hasty. It might be time to come in and talk with us if you find it’s not one of these common issues. Your hearing may have changed, for example, or you may need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
Hearing aid batteries, while improving in quality, still require recharging and replacing sometimes. That means that it’s essential to keep up with your hearing aids’ batteries. If it seems as if the sound is fading or coming and going, check your battery first.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
Purchasing a battery tester, particularly if you like to stock up, is a worthwhile idea. Batteries have a shelf life so the last batteries in the pack may not have as much voltage as the first few even if they stay sealed. Another trick: When you unpack new batteries, wait 5 minutes before putting them in. This can help the batteries last longer by allowing the zinc to become active.
Potential Pitfall: Grease, Grime, And Other Gross Stuff
Your hearing aids will collect debris and dirt no matter how clean you keep your ears and if you have trouble hearing you’re probably more conscientious about earwax. If you can hear but sounds seem distorted or a bit off, dirt could be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can buy a kit for keeping your hearing aids clean or you can use items you already have around the house to clean them. Once you’ve taken apart your hearing aids, use a soft, microfiber cloth (like you’d use to clean glasses or smartphone) to wipe down the hardware.
Simple hygiene practices will go a long way to keeping your hearing aids clean. Whenever you do something that involves liquid or moisture, like washing your face or styling your hair, take your hearing aids out and make certain your hands are dry when handling them.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Even a little bit of moisture can really damage your hearing aid (you don’t need to be submerged, even sweating can be problematic). Even humidity in the air can be a problem, clogging up the hearing aid’s air vents or causing batteries to drain more quickly. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling might happen depending on how much moisture has gotten in. They might even seem to stop working.
The fix: Keep ‘em Dry
Be certain that when you store your hearing aids, you open the battery door; and if you’re storing them for longer than overnight, remove the batteries completely. Any trapped moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to flow with very little effort on your part.
Store hearing aids in a cool, dry spot. The bedroom is a practical spot, skip the bathroom or kitchen. Even though the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is specifically what you don’t want. If you live in a humid climate, you might want to think about purchasing a hearing aid storage box. Most versions use a desiccant in the form of a little moisture absorbing packet, but some more expensive versions eliminate moisture with electronics.
If you’ve tried all of these and none of them are helping then it may be time for a consultation with us.