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Thumping in the ear

Dealing with common hearing aids problems
Keywords: thumping in the ear, sounds are low
Thumping in the ear is one of the common complaints of hearing aid users. It is certainly not something new. When it comes to objects in the ear, certainly not everyone finds It easy to fit in. The nature of the ear can make fitting hearing aids very uncomfortable. Depending on the user, for the first few weeks, some level of discomfort can be experienced. The time duration varies from one individual to the other. If after a while the discomfort is still felt then professional advice is required. Visiting the audiologist or hearing aid professional should be your next line of action.
It is also important no keep in mind that the hearing aid is a complex device. There is some practical issue that you may experience as a hearing aid user. We have taken time to study some of these issues and how to deal with it.
Common hearing aids problems
The sound of the hearing aid is low or there are no sounds at all
It’s not unusual to find hearing aid users complain that sounds are low or there are no sounds at all. This is situation occurs more frequently especially people with little idea of hearing aid functionality. When this occurs, there are a few things you can do.

  • Ensure that the device is properly switched on. While this might sound a bit funny, often times it’s the case. For those with limited knowledge of how the product works, this might just be the case. Most people especially children and older adults may forget to properly switch the device on. The product will simply not work or produce any sound. In the case where it works but sounds are low, you might need to check your volume control. Ensure that your volume control was not tampered with. This is the case with most hearing aids with manual volume control. If the control is completely turned off then there will be no sound at all.
  • Another quick check to carry out is the battery. For those in the habit of removing the battery when not in use, ensure the battery is placed properly in the device. Placing the battery upside down will cause the device not to work.
  • You double checked your battery and sounds are still low or no sound at all? Replace the old battery with a new one. For hearing aids with rechargeable batteries, try recharging. Sometimes, poor sound quality or no sound can be as a result of low battery.
  • Accumulation of ear wax or dirt can block the hearing aid and affect the sound quality. This is why it is very important to ensure the device is cleaned more often. It is also important to ensure that the cleaning is properly done.
  • Try changing the settings and program functions of your hearing aid. Try out each function and see if any of them offers better sound quality. Sometimes, hearing aid users mistakenly switch the program setting unknowingly.
  • Ensure these checks are properly carried out. If you still do not notice any improvement, it’s time to visit a professional. He will be in the right position to check the hearing aid. Sometimes, it is not the hearing aid producing low sound but your hearing loss problem further deteriorated. In this case, your old hearing aid will no longer serve. You will be required to go for a new hearing aid. It is however not in all cases that a new hearing aid will be required. Other hearing aids might need just a little adjustment to function fine again.

Buzzing sound, whistling or thumping in ear produced by the hearing aid
Thumping in ear, whistling or buzzing sounds are some of the complaints of hearing aid users. In some cases, these sounds occur after using the hearing aid for some time. If you notice this sound within the 30-day trial period of your hearing aid, it is important to lodge in a complaint. This will enable the hearing aid professional to make the needed adjustments.
Whistling sound in the ear or feedback can be a normal occurrence. This can occur as a result of sound escaping the ear and somehow finds its way back into the microphone. There are quite a number of reasons you experience feedback from your hearing aid. One of the major causes is bringing your hands close to your ears. There are a good number of digital hearing aids these days designed with feedback cancellers. This helps to deal with the problem of feedback. This, however, does not mean you won’t get that feedback once in a while.
What happens if you notice the thumping and whistling persists after the necessary adjustments have been made and the trial period exhausted? You should try out these few things before visiting the hearing aid professional. More importantly, if the whistling and thumping become a more frequent occurrence, then you need to seek professional help.

  • Removing and reinserting the hearing aid is the first thing to do. Sometimes, when hearing aids are not properly inserted, this can occur. This is why it is important to ensure that the hearing aid is properly inserted.
  • You remove and reinsert and the buzzing sound is still there? Remove and carefully examine the hearing aid. Ensure there is no partial blockade by ear wax or dirt. These too can cause the hearing aid to perform below optimal.
  • Check the loop and t-coil functions and ensure that they are not turned on. If they are, it is important that you turn them back to standard microphone functions.
  • Ensure that your battery is properly charged. The lower the battery the more the tendency of the hearing aid to produce buzzing sounds and thumping in the ear. Replace any battery that has gone below 1.2 volts. This can affect the performance of your hearing aid. Both the sound quality and its ability to get rid of unwanted sounds will be negatively affected.
  • Checked and double checked and still no improvement? The next important thing to do is to visit a hearing aid professional. Your hearing aid might be needing a major repair or a replacement.

The hearing aid gets wet and refuses to perform properly or stops performing
Like every other electronic device, the hearing aid is not friendly with moisture. There are a couple of hearing aid in the market today that claim to be moisture proof. This doesn’t mean we should go try them out in the water to ascertain this claim. Always exercise some measure of caution when using the hearing aid in a wet environment. There are people that have become so used to the hearing aid that they barely remember it’s in there. The damage would have already been done before they remember. However, this does not mean that any earphone exposed to moisture automatically gets bad.
It is important to stick up a reminder note on the bathroom doors and mirror. This will enable you to remember to take off the hearing aid before heading straight to shower. Some of the few things you need to do when your hearing aid gets wet are:

  • Ensure to switch off the device and remove the battery. This will help you get rid of excess water that may be trapped in the battery compartment. This will help prevent corrosion and prevent further damage to your device.
  • If your hearing aid was exposed to salty or dirty water, carefully clean the device with the appropriate tools before drying them out.
  • Leave the battery chamber open, remove the battery and spread out the device on a soft surface, it is important to allow the device to air dry for up to 24 hours.
  • You may like to put the device close to a gentle blowing fan to help speed up drying time. Putting the device close to a table lamp can also improve drying time. It is also very important to be careful how you do this to avoid damaging the device further.

 
Ensure that the hearing aid is not placed very close to a naked light source. This also includes keeping the device close to a direct heat source. This can cause further damage to your device.

  • You can make use of silica gel to ensure your device is completely dry of moisture. Simply place the device in a container of silica gel, close and allow overnight. This has the ability to dehumidify and take care of moisture that may be trapped inside the device. What if there is no silica gel available? A container of uncooked rice can also do the magic. Repeat the same process of the silica gel with the uncooked rice and you are bound to get the same result.
  • You can also dry the hearing aid using a hairdryer. Ensure that the hairdryer is set to its lowest. Avoid using high heat to dry your hearing device. This might lead to complete damage of device.
  • Caution! Keep your hearing aids away from high heat, don’t attempt drying the hearing aid in an oven or microwave. Exposing hearing aids to high heat can destroy the device even faster than water.
  • After completely drying the hearing aid, insert the battery properly and attempt putting it on again. If you’re lucky, you will get your hearing aid working perfectly well again.
  • What if after completely drying and the hearing aid still refuses to work? Don’t just discard it yet! Take it to the hearing aid specialist. He is in the best position to further examine your hearing aid. He will determine whether it’s time to say goodbye to your device and go for a new one.

Most of the problems and issues associated with the hearing aid can be fixed by checking the functions of the device. Checking parts such as the battery and adjusting some of the functions can help correct some of these problems. Ensure the hearing aid is always kept clean and dry at all times. Get rid of ear wax and dirt and visit the hearing aid professional from time to time for a regular maintenance check.
Maintenance and care are the keys to a long-lasting hearing aid maintenance. There are basic things you need to know about hearing aid maintenance.
Steps to maintain and care for your hearing aid
When it comes to caring for your hearing aid, safety comes first. There are safe ways of using the device. This is also applicable to storing the device. Ensure that when the device is not in use it is safely stored. This will help to keep them functioning optimally for a long time. Quality care for the hearing aid is important to ensure they remain in good working order for a long time. Lack of care can lead to dire consequences to your device. It is one reason you will be running back to the hearing aid professional more frequently.
Below are few tips to maintaining and taking care of your hearing aids.
Purchase a humidifier case for your hearing aid.
Due to the size and how delicate the hearing aid is, storing them in a safe place is very important. Invest in humidifier hearing aid cases to store your device when they are not in use. These packs are specially designed to keep your device safe and dry. For those who perspire a lot, this case is also ideal to deal to keep out any trapped moisture in the device. Safe cases are also good travel companions. They protect and keep your device safe from dirt and a sudden fall. It can also be of help to remove the hearing aid batteries when not in use.
Keep your device away from children and pets
Like every other electronic device, it is advisable to keep your hearing aid away from children and pets. While children can easily pick up and destroy the device, there are other cases of deaths occurring from swallowed hearing aid batteries. Some hearing aids can also emit high sound frequencies that can be irritating to some species of dogs.
Keep hearing aid away from water – protect your device from moisture
We all should be aware at this point that like every other electronic device, moisture is one of the greatest enemies of the hearing aid. Always endeavor to remove your hearing aid before going into the shower. You can carry your hearing aid along with you to the beach but watch it! Ensure it is in a safe container when sitting around the beach sand. Using the hearing aid around the beach has a lot of disadvantage. You stand the risk of your device getting damaged by water. There is also the risk of sand entering and spoiling your device. It is, therefore, something you do with care.
Often times some people make the mistake of leaving the hearing aid in the bathroom. This is not safe. The conditions in the bathroom are not safe for the hearing aid. Always ensure to clean the ears before inserting the hearing aid.
There are a few things you need to do to ensure your hearing aid is free from moisture. Keep the battery chamber open when not in use. Ask your hearing aid professional on the best way to ensure your hearing aid is dry and safe.
Keep the hearing aid safe from hair spray, perfumes, and make-up
Perfumes, hair spray and make up can affect your hearing aid adversely. The fine particles from make-ups can find their way into the hearing aid microphone. Make-up particles can also congest your volume control. It is safer to take off your hearing aid before applying your make-up or body spray.
Keep hearing aid clean at all times
The best way to take care of your hearing aid is to keep them clean at all times. Use a soft and dry material when cleaning your hearing aid. Avoid using cleaning liquids and alcohol-based products to clean your hearing aid. There are special cleaning agents designed for your hearing aid. Liaise with your hearing aid professional to advise you on the best care product for your hearing aid. Ensure your hearing aid is properly checked for ear wax and debris.
Let the expert do the job
When it comes to servicing the hearing aid, ensure to leave the duty to the professionals. Attempting to carry out major hearing aid servicing yourself can lead to more complications. Sensitive parts of the hearing aid can be damaged beyond repair when not handled properly. There are special tools used in the repair of hearing aids. These tools must be free from oil and moisture. Complications caused by oil to the hearing aid may be difficult to correct. Due to the size of the hearing aid parts, special care needs to be taken not to misplace any of these parts.
Check and replace hearing aid batteries when necessary
When a dead battery is left inside a device for a long time, this can lead to corrosion. This is the major cause of a damaged battery chamber. The effect of a bad battery can extend to other components of the hearing aid. Remove dead batteries, ensure the battery chamber is cleaned properly before inserting your new battery. Use a soft material of dry cotton swab to gently wipe your battery chamber.
Always ensure you keep to your routine cleaning schedule.
While it is important to clean your hearing aid at home, it is also important to visit your hearing aid professional for routine cleaning schedule. Take the device to the professional and have it properly examined and checked. Often times, there are tiny faults which only the professional know how to detect. It is also their duty to make adjustments to your hearing aid when the need be.
Device cleaning appointments are due after 5 months of use. However, if you notice there is a change in the performance of your hearing aid, don’t hesitate to visit a professional.
The smaller the hearing aid device, the more delicate it becomes. Therefore, handling requires more care. When cleaning the hearing aid it is important to always do it facing downward. This will prevent dried up wax and debris from falling into the device.
Tips about your hearing aid.

  1. Using the hearing aid for the first time can feel very funny.

Trying the hearing aid might feel funny the first time. Your ear needs to adjust to the new device. Don’t worry, this feeling is perfectly normal. It is common to keep feeling the device in your ear for quite some time. This feeling is, however, expected to go away in a few days. For those using BTE hearing aids and still use glasses, care should be taken when placing and removing the glasses.

  1. As a beginner, wear the hearing aid for only a few hours

It’s absolutely okay to wear your hearing aid for just a few hours as a starter. Don’t worry, you will gradually get used to it. Gradually, professionals recommend that you wear the device for long hours especially waking hours. This will help you to slowly adjust to the device. This will help you identify any issues with the hearing aid and report back to the audiologist.

  1. Practice in a private room before attempting other environments

As a starter, it is ideal to start your practice in a quiet room. Try to understand how your new device works before attempting other environments. You will discover that small sounds like the ticking of the clock may sound very loud. This is the normal process of the brain trying to adjust. Note down your experience and ensure to mention it to your audiologist at your next visit.

  1. Avoid adjusting the hearing aid volume frequently

Most hearing aids are designed to automatically adjust to different environments. It is therefore not advisable to adjust it manually. Turning the volume up so loud is not ideal for the hearing aid.   

  1. Practice talking to a group of people at the same time.

Try talking to groups of family and friends together, see if you can recognize their voices. This practice requires focus and concentration on the speakers. The easier for you to identify familiar voices, the better the result of the device.