What Are the Problems with Hearing Aids?
Adjusting to living life with hearing aids sometimes takes a little bit of time, thus it pays for you to be prepared for what lies ahead of you. This article offers a list of the most common issues that are faced by hearing aid customers, and how they can be fixed. The most excellent news is that as the problems are so common, the designs of these amazing devices keep evolving to accommodate virtually all of them. So, let us take a look at the problems together with solutions to each.
- Battery Life
The Problem: Hearing aids require miniature batteries to function, which means that you will always have to be aware of the battery life of your hearing aid.
The Solution: Always carry spares along. The battery does not take up too much space thus you will be able to have several batteries on hand. (You should also check to see whether or not the hearing aid’s batteries are covered by your medical benefits – a lot of them do). You should expect to obtain anything from 4 days to 2 weeks out of every battery you put into your device, and never forget to always switch the device off whenever that is possible.
- Moisture Concerns
The Problem: Let us face it, whether it is the shower, your sweat, or even a rainy day, your hearing aids are certain to come into contact with moisture at some point in time. Several individuals always worry that excessive moisture will ruin their devices, or make them slip and fall out of their ears.
The Solution: Hearing aids are built in a manner that should enable them to hold up against all of the elements, moisture included. For extra security, you should choose from devices that come with a protective coating. Virtually all modern brands feature this technology just that some might be more effective than others. Even though it is still recommended that you should take off your hearing aids when taking a shower, a little bad weather or a small bit of sweat should not bring about damage. Make sure that you get the device fitted properly by a hearing care expert so that it will fit snuggly.
- Too Much Ear Wax
The Problem: At one time, excessive ear wax has always been known to interfere with hearing aids. This is because it always blocked the device’s microphone as well as other varying small components, thus hindering excellent performance.
The Solution: With Consistent ear-cleaning practices, it becomes quite unlikely for the ear wax to build up to the kind of amount that can get your device clogged. Always wipe your hearing aids clean after you have taken them out to prevent build up on the devices themselves. And, you should make sure that you always go for a device that features protective coating whenever you are choosing which product to buy. There are lots of varying resources online that discuss ear wax and how you should properly clean your ears, thus you should go through a couple of them to learn to do it right.
The Problem: Whenever hearing devices pick up on the noises of their operation, typically whenever the user lets something rub against them, they always end up amplifying the very sounds they are making, thus bringing about a high-pitched, jarring, and squealing sound.
The Solution: Make sure that you avoid turning your hearing aid on until it is completely inserted into your ear, and you have ensured that it is properly fitted. If feedback happens to be a concern for you, you will have to make sure that you choose a hearing aid option that comes with a feature for eliminating feedback. Most of the foremost devices come with a feature that is known as the ‘feedback eraser’.
- Maintaining an Active Lifestyle
The Problem: When you first begin to wear your hearing aid, it will certainly feel a bit strange initially, probably even very bulky, in spite of its tiny size. Several individuals end up wondering how they can go on maintaining the very active lifestyle they have been used to, such as wearing a helmet while they are mountain biking or going to their favorite gym.
The Solution: Currently, hearing aids are so tiny that they are truly unlikely to interfere with all kinds of physical activities, particularly if you choose from among the foremost brands, or even any other model that is capable of sitting and fitting properly inside your ear canal. These kinds of devices are most ideal for individuals that have truly active lifestyles.
The Problem: Helping individuals who have limited hearing to still enjoy an amazing day at the pool or beach is one issue that manufacturers of hearing aids are addressing continuously. Thus far, options remain quite limited, with only a couple of fully water-resistant hearing aids being available in the market.
The Solution: If swimming happens to be a huge component of your life, you should make sure that you speak with your hearing health expert, who will be capable of offering you some amazing recommendations. If you are going to be around water a lot, like being on a boating trip, contemplate stowing your hearing aids into someplace that is completely safe. Eventually, the making of such concessions will turn round to become your second nature.
The Problem: One common question which all those that are new to using hearing aids always have is what they are supposed to do when it is bedtime. Well, if you should leave them inside your ears, the discomfort that they will bring about is certain to affect the quality of the sleep you will have. Take them out of your ears, and how do you, then, hear your kids, the alarm clock, an intruder, or even the smoke detector?
The Solution: There are modern hearing aids available which, are suitable to be worn 24/7. Let your area or locality’s hearing aid professional understand if you happen to be concerned about the need to wear your hearing device throughout the entire night. The expert will be able to match you up with the most appropriate device and also customize the device’s sleep settings in a manner that most suits your individual needs and requirements.
The Problem: As you continue to get used to the functionality and feeling of the new hearing aid that you have just bought, you might likely be experiencing some mild headaches at the beginning or, at the barest minimum, something that is known as ‘stuffy’ head syndrome, which feels a little bit like having plugged ears.
The Solution: If your hearing aids happen to be causing you persistent headaches, then something is surely wrong with how they have been fitted or even how they have been set up. It could be that how the settings on your hearing aid happen to be are just too loud for what you happen to be prepared for. A hearing care expert will be able to adjust the settings to decrease the power of your hearing aid, thus giving you sufficient time to become acclimatized to your new-found world of sound that is surrounding you.
The Problem: Formerly, hearing aids used to need lots of adjusting, whether you happened to be talking on your phone, listening while watching television, or just sitting around a dining table during a dinner party that happens to be loud. Several individuals who are new to these amazing devices are afraid that they will need to account for all of these scenarios all through the day, thus constantly drawing people’s attention to the fact that they have hearing aids inside their ears.
The Solution: All that you have to do is just go digital. Modern-day hearing aids are capable of auto-adjusting to whatever surrounding you might find yourself in, thus greatly minimizing the length of time you might have to spend fussing over the volume control. Some brands or types of hearing aids even come with their remote controls too, and this enables discreet volume control whenever the need arises.
The Problem: Because hearing aids are devices that are quite intricate, a lot of individuals worry that they are fragile and given to breaking down, particularly if they get dropped onto hard surfaces, are stepped on, or even get eaten by your dog. The concern regarding the malfunction of any kind of hearing aid is two-fold: suffering from downtime as well as covering the costs of replacement.
The Solution: You should steer clear of buying your hearing aids from websites or even physical stores that do not have excellent customer support services. This is as the time that will be needed to mail the device back for needed repairs if it breaks down might be quite lengthy. Rather, you should make sure that you shop for hearing aids from local stores and websites and you should also ensure that you enquire about extra coverage options. For extra peace of mind, there are several and varying extended warranties that are available which, you can always use, being offered by the foremost providers.
- Physical Appearance
The Problem: Several individuals keep worrying that their hearing aids will turn out to be stigmatizing, particularly those that remember them as cumbersome-looking and large. This brings about the problem of worries as regards how they will look when wearing their devices.
The Solution: The latest models of hearing aids are sleek and very tiny; some are even so tiny that it is challenging to see them. You might quickly feel much better as regards wearing these devices after seeing how unremarkable they appeared during the era when everybody seemed to be going around with Bluetooth devices inside their ears. Sincerely, having to say ‘what did you say?’ and ‘Huh?’ constantly is much more noticeable than wearing one of these amazing devices agree all hearing health experts from around the whole world.
The Problem: Being comfortable or sore in your ear canal when wearing hearing aids could all boil down to a matter of whether your device fits or not. This is because experts have discovered that lots of individuals will always complain that they feel uncomfortable with the devices they are wearing.
The Solution: You could enquire about being allowed to test-drive your hearing aids before you go on to purchase them. This is so that you can be sure that they were comfortable for over just a couple of minutes. If you own customized hearing aids, your area or locality’s audiologist might be able to effect adjustments to the device using specialized tools agree all hearing health experts. The foremost experts are all in agreement that; sometimes, your hearing aid has to be ‘remade’ to become accustomed to the sensitive spots that are found in your ear canal.
- The Sounds Are Quite Strange
The Problem: If you have not been hearing well for a lengthy period and thus are new to hearing aids, the unexpected amplification of sounds in the background might be distracting, especially when your device is in the higher frequencies. The longer you have had to wait in between the loss of your hearing and obtaining your device, the more challenging it becomes to adjust to this amplification. This is as you are certainly used to being in a much quieter world.
The Solution: You can certainly obtain help as regards adaptation via aural rehabilitation – which means getting your brain trained to hear a wide range of varying sounds again – either through one-on-one sessions or by utilizing any of the varying computer-based programs right from your home.
Some Simple At-Home Maintenance Tips For Hearing Aids Users
Using simple tools like tube blowers could make a massive difference in the performance and life of hearing aids. With all investments, there is some degree of maintenance needed to ensure that your money is well-spent and your purchase is well-kept. This is not different for hearing aids. Even though there are some maintenance items that only your hearing care expert or the manufacturer should use, there are several other varying preventative measures that you can implement regularly so you can make sure that your device is well-maintained and keeps functioning at its fullest capacity.
The most common of all culprits that cause hearing aids repairs across the entire industry is ear wax or cerumen. At the foremost repair providers, an estimated 60% of repairs are caused by foreign materials or wax entering into the internal parts of hearing devices. Often, ear wax is described as the worst enemy of hearing aids, and justly so. Even though ear wax is a normal, healthy occurrence within the ear canal, it can produce a couple of issues for your hearing aid. The ear canal features not just the soft or solid components of ear wax but a vapor that is capable of migrating deep into your hearing aid too. When it does so, it then turns solid and settles on the device’s crucial mechanical components.
It is recommended to clean hearing aids every day. To prevent ear wax from clogging crucial components of hearing devices, like the receivers or microphones, the wearer must wipe the hearing aid off with a soft tissue or cloth every single morning. If tissues contain lotions or aloe, then they should not be used. Cleaning cloths should themselves be regularly cleaned to prevent the re-deposition of ear wax or any other varying debris onto the device. Even though cleaning hearing devices at night after everyday use is instinctive, you should wipe down your device in the morning when the ear wax has had the chance to dry and can be removed with a lot more ease. Also, you must be quite careful so you do not wipe debris onto the device’s microphone ports from a different part of the device. When hearing devices have standard-sized earmold tubing or thin tubes fitted onto them, every so often, the wearer will be given a tool that is used in cleaning the tubing when it has been taken out from the hearing device itself. This cleaning has to be done regularly to avoid the buildup of wax within the tubing.
Any exposure to humidity, perspiration, water, or condensation can bring about grave damage to hearing aids. Presently, several hearing aids are designed in a manner that makes them highly oil (oleophobic) and water (hydrophobic) resistant. Unluckily, as a result of the design of present-day hearing aids, it is challenging to safeguard them from all moisture and oil hazards. Even though accidental immersion in a swimming pool or bath can occur, preventative measures can help protect from the buildup of moisture inside the device during usual usage.
The first moisture damage prevention step is to steer clear of accidental exposure to water. Try to stick to a routine as regards everyday use of your device. If you normally shower first thing in the mornings, leave your hearing aids in their storage case, and preferably not even in the bathroom, to avoid accidentally knocking them into the toilet or sink or forgetting to get them out before bathing. Moisture could gather on the inner part of the earmold tubing via condensation as moist warm air from your ear canal migrates out into the cooler tubing walls that are exposed to the natural environment. If you notice moisture in the tubing of any standard BTE device, a tube blower could be utilized to force out the moisture from the tubing after taking it out from the ear hook.
At night, you should leave the doors of hearing aid batteries open to enable air to flow through the whole device; this features the extra benefit of battery life preservation. Ideally, your device should be stored in some dehumidifying container. These are kits that are typically a cheap nighttime storage solution and they offer a safe place to keep your device during sleep as well as some moisture-absorbing environment to draw out moisture from hearing aids into the crystals that are within the jar. Note instructions regarding the appropriate utilization and maintenance of these jars because the crystals might require reactivation through heat after a particular amount of use. Also, appliances that feature more aggressive dehumidifying abilities are available as recommended by your area’s hearing care expert. In instances of accidental exposure to moisture, your device should be placed into the jar and your area’s clinic should then be contacted for any further instructions.
To avoid physical damage, hearing aids have to be stored in a safe, consistent manner every single night. They have to be placed out of the reach of pets and small kids. This is because kids and animals seem to be attracted to the devices as a result of the human scent they always give off. When any damage happens, you should gather all affected components of the device and then schedule an appointment with your area’s provider as soon as you possibly can. Your device must never be worn if it features any damage in its casing because sharp edges can end up causing abrasion or irritation to both your ear as well as the surrounding areas. Damage to your device’s tubing, either pinches or even tears, must be addressed as soon as you possibly can because such occurrences can end up having truly severe effects on the sound quality you get from your hearing device.
The world is consuming progressively more hearing aids with time as their importance continues to rise. In the United States alone, more than 12% (about 39 million) of its population has one kind of significant hearing loss or the other. Becoming fully adjusted to using hearing aids can be quite challenging, thus it pays greatly to always be ready for what might lie ahead. This article has brought you a list of the most common problems that are faced by individuals who use hearing aids, as well as how such issues can be fixed.
The most excellent news of all is that as these problems are so commonplace, hearing aid designs have evolved through the years to accommodate virtually all of them. Maintaining your hearing device via regular servicing and daily cleaning is quite crucial. The most appropriate care helps your device to retain optimum hearing conditions, greatly enhances its life span, and ensures the most appropriate hygiene for you. Before you take your device in to be serviced, check this list of symptoms as well as potential solutions that have been offered by this article. Make sure that you utilize the tips to obtain the most possible from your hearing device and to ensure that it is kept in optimal working conditions for as long as is possible.