If you have hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When they aren’t working right, 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.
Go through this list before you do anything rash. It might be time to come in and talk with us if you find it isn’t one of these ordinary problems. Your hearing might have changed, for example, or you might need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
Hearing aid batteries, while improving in quality, still require recharging and replacing occasionally. That means that it’s essential to maintain your hearing aids’ batteries. The first thing you should do if your hearing aid starts to falter or cut in and out is check the battery.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
Investing in a battery tester, particularly if you like to stock up, is a practical idea. Even if you keep batteries sealed until it’s time to use them, always a smart plan, they have a limited shelf life, and so the last batteries in that huge pack you purchased months ago most likely won’t last as long as the first few did. Another trick: When you open new batteries, wait 5 minutes before installing them. This gives the zinc time to become active, and can possibly help the batteries last longer.
Potential Pitfall: Grease, Grime, And Other Gross Stuff
No matter how clean you keep your ears, and if you have a hard time hearing, you’re much more likely than the average person to stay on top of earwax, your hearing aids will accumulate dirt and debris. If you can hear but sounds seem distorted or slightly off, dirt might be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
There are plenty of products available specifically for cleaning hearing aids, but you can DIY it with items you already have around the house. You can use a microfiber cloth, like the kind you use to clean your computer screen or cellphone, 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 sure your hands aren’t wet when handling them.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Even a small amount of moisture can really damage your hearing aid (you won’t need to be submerged, even sweating can be a problem). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be impacted by humidity in the air. Depending on how much moisture’s gotten in, you might experience issues from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They may even seem to stop working.
The fix: Keep Them Dry
Make sure that when you store your hearing aids, you open the battery door; and if you’re taking them out for longer than overnight, take out the batteries entirely. Any captured moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to circulate with almost no effort on your part.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to keep your hearing aids. Don’t store them in the bathroom or kitchen. Even though the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is exactly what you don’t want. You will most likely want to purchase a hearing aid storage box if you live in an overly humid environment. Pricier models plug in, but less costly models use desiccants or gels (yes, like those “throw away do not eat” packets you find in the box when you purchase a pair of shoes) to take in moisture.
If you’ve tried all of these and none of them are helping then it may be time for a consultation with us.