Your hearing aids should improve your hearing right? When your hearing aid stops doing its job, it can be seriously frustrating. The good news is, with regular upkeep, your hearing aids should be up to the job.
Before you do anything extreme, look at this list. If it’s not one of these common problems, it may be time to pay us a visit to ensure there isn’t a more substantial issue. Your hearing may have changed, for example, or you may need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
While hearing aid batteries have gotten considerably smaller and lifespans are improving, the batteries still have to be occasionally replaced or recharged. So staying on top of charging your batteries is important. If it seems like the sound is diminishing or coming and going, check your battery first.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
A battery tester is a beneficial investment, particularly if you like to stock up. Batteries have a shelf life so the last batteries in the pack might not have as much voltage as the first few even if they stay sealed. Another trick: When you open new batteries, wait 5 minutes before putting them in. This can help extend the battery life by allowing the zinc to activate.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
Your hearing aids will gather 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 little off, dirt might be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can get a kit for keeping your hearing aids clean or you can use items you already have around the house to keep them clean. You can use a microfiber cloth, like the kind you use to clean your cellphone or glasses, to wipe your hearing aid down after taking it apart.
Simple hygiene practices will go a long way to keeping your hearing aids clean. Whenever you do something that involves liquid or moisture, like cleaning your face or styling your hair, take your hearing aids out and make certain your hands aren’t wet when handling them.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Moisture can be a real problem for hearing aids, and it doesn’t take much to do so (think working up a sweat, not deep-sea diving). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be impacted by humidity in the air. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling may happen depending on how much moisture is inside. They might even seem to quit altogether.
The fix: Keep Them Dry
Make sure that when you store your hearing aids, the battery door is open; and if you’re taking them out for longer than 24 hours, take out the batteries completely. Any captured moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to flow with almost no effort on your part.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to keep your hearing aids. The bedroom is a practical spot, skip the bathroom or kitchen. Although the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is precisely what you don’t want. You will likely want to get a hearing aid storage box if you live in a very humid climate. Pricier versions plug in, but less expensive models use desiccants or gels (yes, like those “throw away do not eat” packets you find in the box when you buy a pair of shoes) to take in moisture.
If you’ve tried all of these and none of them are helping then it might be time for a consultation with us.