Within even their miniature structures, hearing aids comprise several advanced technological components that are susceptible to damage from the presence of ear wax, dirt, as well as moisture – all of which appear to always come near the ears of users of the devices. To make sure that the problems and repairs of these amazing devices remain an utmost minimum, it becomes quite crucial to make sure that you always clean them consistently, removing any buildup or debris and ensuring that they remain as dry as possible. Even at that, there are certain times that your hearing aids will malfunction.
When you have taken the most appropriate steps for making sure that hearing loss doesn’t impact on your everyday life by buying hearing aids, it becomes not surprising then that you can easily become frustrated when things do not go quite as you planned them. Well, you do not have to stress anymore. This article offers a couple of troubleshooting tips which, if you can follow them, will help you to effectively determine whether your hearing aid problem is something that you will be capable of fixing yourself or something that will need to be dealt with by a specialist of hearing instruments.
- If Your Hearing Aid Is Not Producing Any Sound At All
If your hearing aid happens not to be producing any sound, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you do not panic. Usually, it could be a result of a wide range of varying reasons all of which do not even imply that the hearing aid is faulty. Some of the things you can do are;
- Make Sure That It Is Turned On: In the majority of instances, you power hearing aids by closing their batter door. If the battery door will not close easily, then that means that you might have the battery upside down. If that is the case, take out the battery, flip it over then have it reinserted. If you have placed it in properly, then the cover will close quite easily.
- Make Sure That You Did Not Set the Sound to ‘mute’: The issue your hearing aid is having might be that you have set the controls to the ‘mute’ position. Try to use the manual control to turn the volume up. If being on ‘mute’ is the problem, then it will be solved.
- Check to See Whether Wax Is Blocking the Aid’s Sound: Sometimes, ear wax is deposited where the sound of your aid comes out from as you keep wearing it over time. So, you should visually inspect it to see for yourself whether or not the sound outlet has been blocked by wax. The most probable occurrence is that the wax will be on the sound outlet or the microphone opening. If it is there, just wipe the debris away and your problem will be easily solved.
- Your Battery Might Be Dead: The battery of your device might probably be dead. If you own a tester for hearing aid batteries, check the old battery’s voltage to make sure that it is dead before you insert a new one. If you just change the battery without first checking, then it can be more confusing when you eventually discover that the battery was not the problem.
- Ensure That You Are Not On The Wrong Setting: You could have your hearing aid set to a completely wrong setting. What you have to do is a toggle between varying memories or programs. If your device features a button for changing settings, press it then go on to listen to see whether or not it makes any difference.
- If It Is BTE (behind-the-ear) Style, the Tubing Might Have Signs of Wear: If your device happens to be behind-the-ear style, then you have to check whether the tubing is showing any signs of wear. The tubing that is found on BTE style hearing aids is capable of wearing out and getting damaged, thus having their effective functions compromised. If you notice any signs of wear on the tubing of your device, then you will need to immediately visit a hearing instrument specialist. The professional will be able to fix or replace your device’s tubing right there in his office.
- There Could Be Visible Dislodged Tubing, Holes, Cracks Or Other Varying Damages: If you have tried all of the steps that have been listed in this section and your hearing aid is still not functioning as it should, then you will need to inspect IT for any other signs of damage such as holes, cracks, or gaps – just anything that can bring about malfunction. The majority of these basic problems can be handled right there inside the office of your hearing instrument specialist, while other problems that happen to be a bit more serious might need to be repaired by the manufacturer, or the manufacturer might even have to replace the entire device.
If you try all of these listed tips after discovering that your hearing aid isn’t producing any sound at all and the problem is still persistent, then it is time for you to call a professional in. It is time to contact your area or locality’s hearing center for further help. Such centers might have same-day appointments or walk-in hours for troubleshooting and repair of hearing aids. Depending on the make or brand of your hearing aids, getting them to a center for repair could provide you with an additional year-long warranty.
- If Your Hearing Aid Is Not Loud Enough
Usually, there is always a simple explanation for the problem when your hearing aid is not loud enough. So, you should read through the explanations given below and try out the offered pointers – your device should then be up and running within no time at all.
- You Should First Check The Volume: The first reason that might be responsible for your hearing aid not being loud enough is that; it could simply be that you have the volume turned completely down. If this is so, all that you need to do is crank it up a bit if you have manual control.
- It Could Again Be Wax That Is Responsible: Here again, it could be wax that is the culprit that is responsible for the problem you are having. All you have to do is take out the hearing aids and have a look. If you notice any wax on the sound outlet or microphone opening, all you need do is just wipe it away. On the other hand, if your hearing aid features tubing and an earmold, take a look at them to ensure that there is no crack, bead of moisture, or blockage on any of them. (FYI: If you see that anything is not right with the tubing of your hearing aid, then make sure that you contact your area or locality’s hearing center immediately).
- You Are Probably On A Wrong Setting: Being in the wrong setting can potentially prevent your hearing device from being loud enough. Here, you have to check to see that you are in the right settings. You could have accidentally switched your device to a different program.
- It Is Possible That Your Ear’s Hearing Might Have Changed: If your hearing aid appears not to be loud enough, then it could be that your hearing has changed from how you used to know it to be. If it has been long since you went for your last hearing evaluation, then you might need to schedule another check-up with your area or locality’s hearing practitioner – in the majority of instances, the professional will be able to have your hearing aid adjusted to save you from having to incur the expense of purchasing new ones.
- If the Sound of Your Hearing Aid Appears To Be Distorted
In ninety-nine out of a hundred instances, this problem can be effectively dealt with using a simple flick of a switch. If you have this kind of problem with your hearing aid, you can try any among the following troubleshooting solutions to get immediate relief.
- Check to See Whether Your Batteries Are Corroded: If the sound of your hearing appears to be distorted, it could be that your batteries have been corroded. If they happen to be, all that you have to do is replace them with new ones. After you have replaced them, the sound of your hearing aid will return loud and clear.
- You Might Have Another Different Problem With The Battery: If your hearing aid features distorted sound, then it is quite possible that the contacts of the battery, which happen to be the tiny metal prongs that connect with the battery whenever the cover is closed, are also corroded. If you verify and find that they are, then you should open the battery compartment and close it several times so that the contacts can be cleaned. Then, you should go on to finally replace the battery to see whether or not the sound of your hearing aid has improved. Also, if you do not have any technical experience and so cannot be able to clean your battery’s contacts, then your area or locality’s hearing care professional can do it for you very effectively. Do the contacts appear to make full contact with the battery? If they are appropriately oriented, you could feel a little drag when you open the battery cover or you could even notice scratches on the surface if it is a used battery.
- Your Hearing Aid Might Potentially Be On The Wrong Setting: Also, if your hearing aid is giving off distorted sounds, it is quite probable that you have accidentally switched it to the telecoil setting. This is certainly the wrong setting. So, if that is the case, then all that you have to do is manually change your settings to the most appropriate settings.
- The Hearing Aid Or Device Might Be Damaged: If your hearing aid features distorted sound, then it could be that it has been damaged. If you happen not to be a professional audiologist, then you should leave the task of checking it which is necessary here, to a real expert. This is because if you attempt doing it yourself and aren’t a professional, then you could even further damage your device. Same-day or walk-in hour appointments are always available for you whenever it might be that you need them.
- If Your Hearing Aid Is Producing Feedback or ‘Whistling’
If your hearing aid happens to be whistling or producing feedback, it can turn out to be truly annoying for you. What you can do is try one or more of the following three remedies so you can stop it right now.
- Make Sure That You Have Inserted Them Properly: If your hearing aids happen to be whistling while they are inside your ears, then you should take them out and try reinserting them. That should probably get the trick done as not inserting them properly is responsible for this problem in the majority of cases.
- You Might Have Turned Them Up Just One Notch Too High: If your hearing aids are whistling or giving off feedback, then you might probably have turned them up just a notch too high. If you have them inserted properly and they cease to whistle when you get the volume turned down, then, there might have been just too much sound leaking out around the device’s earmold or via the vent. If you turn the volume down and the problem persists, then you might need to see a hearing care professional so he can have the fit adjusted to fit you properly.
- You Could Have Just Too Much Wax Inside Your Ears: Sometimes, when your hearing aid is whistling or giving off feedback, then it could be because you have just a little bit too much wax in your ears. If you feel that your ear canals might have been blocked by ear wax, then you should visit your physician or hearing care professional to have your ears thoroughly cleaned. The blockage could be the culprit that is causing the feedback in two ways: You get the volume of your device turned higher than usual so that you will be able to hear through the ear wax, thus leaking out more sound than is normal, and sound can surely bounce off any kind of blockage that inside your ear canal and then go on to leak back out.
- If the Hearing Aids Are Uncomfortable
Also, soreness inside your ear canal could be a matter of fit. You should ask whether you can test-drive your device before you buy it. This is so you can be sure that they remained comfortable for over a couple of minutes. If you happen to have a customized hearing aid, your audiologist might be able to effect some adjustments to it by utilizing special tools according to the foremost experts. Sometimes, your hearing aids have to be ‘remade’ so that they can accommodate the sensitive spots that are found in the ear canal.
- If It Seems You Can’t Become Used To the Sounds
If you haven’t heard well in a long time and are new to hearing aids, the sudden background sounds amplification can be distracting especially within the higher frequencies. The longer you wait between losing your hearing and getting your device, the more challenging it is for you to adjust to this amplification, as you are already used to living in a much quieter world.
Caring For Your Hearing Aids
Effectively maintaining your hearing aids via regular service and everyday cleaning is very crucial. The environment in which in-the-air hearing aids are used is warm and moist with a relative humidity of between 40% and 70% together with a consistent temperature of 98 degrees. Ear wax, which happens to be a mix of corrosive body acid and salt, could accumulate inside the ears as well as on the hearing device. Unsurprisingly, these conditions can turn out to be damaging for electronics. Proper care of hearing aids helps the retention of optimum hearing conditions, significantly extends your hearing aid’s life, and helps to ensure healthy hygiene for your ears.
How to Effectively Clean Your Hearing Aids
Choose the style of hearing aid you are going to use after going through the many varying resources that are available online which, help you to determine the suitability and to also understand how to properly clean your device. The following are the foremost tips for effectively cleaning your hearing aid;
- Take Out Ear Wax: You must always remove ear wax from your hearing aids to avoid permanent damage or even temporary malfunction. When you buy any hearing aids, you should be given cleaning tools which should include small loops or picks as well as a soft brush. You must always make sure that you adhere completely to the instructions of the manufacturer whenever you are cleaning your hearing aids. If you cannot get all of the ear wax taken out, then the hearing instrument professional can certainly help you out.
- Wipe Your Aids Dry Using A Soft Dry Cloth Whenever You Remove Them At Night: You must never use water, cleaning solvents, or alcohol swabs whenever you are cleaning your hearing aids. This is because all of these mentioned materials can ultimately damage or break down your hearing aids.
Never Drop Your Hearing Aids
Letting your hearing aids drop onto hard surfaces is capable of getting the amazing instruments damaged. When you are still learning how you should correctly remove or even place the hearing aids, make sure that you always do it while in a seated position, and you should also make sure that you have a pillow or towel on your lap while you are doing so.
Proper Storage of Your Hearing Aids
Certainly, there is a proper way to store your hearing aids. Not storing them most appropriately could make them fail or even break down completely. So, follow these tips to make sure that you always store your hearing aids most appropriately.
- Whenever you are not using your hearing aids, make sure that they are kept away from moisture and heat, and that they are stored in a place that is cool and completely dry. Ask your area or locality’s hearing specialist concerning a dehumidifying box that can be used for proper storage. Dehumidifying storage boxes are designed to effectively and safely take out moisture that is capable of corroding sensitive circuitry.
- When storing your hearing aid, even if it is just for a short period; i.e. a couple of days, you should always make sure that you leave the device’s battery open to preserve the battery power when the device is not being used.
When You Should Not Wear Your Hearing Aids
Even though the majority of modern hearing aids are designed to be water-resistant, you should make sure that you do not wear them when;
- You are taking your bath in the shower or are relaxing in a sauna.
- When you happen to be swimming whether it is in a swimming pool, lake, river, or the ocean.
- When you happen to be using a hairdryer whether it is your private one at home or you have gone out to your area or locality’s salon to have your hair done.
- When you happen to be applying hair spray or even any other type of spray-on products. You should always apply your hair products first before you then go on to insert your hearing aids after you are done with the hair product application.
Your hearing aids are your gateway to the enjoyment of a more engaging, fuller life, thus if you begin having issues with them, it is only proper that you have them sorted out immediately. After all, devices that were designed to boost comfort must never bring about too much stress.
If you happen to resonate with anyone among the varying problems that have been listed in this article, have tried the basic easy-to-fix solutions that have also been offered in the article and the problem remains persistent, then it is time for you to seek help from your audiologist.
Taking excellent care of your device and following these easy-to-use troubleshooting tips could help you to avoid costly repairs as a result of improper handling or outright negligence and unwanted visits to experts’ offices. In particular, the quicker and easier you can troubleshoot your hearing aid, the sooner you will have it fixed and be returned to hearing as well and excellently as ever before.