If you’ve got hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When your hearing aid stops doing its job, it can be seriously frustrating. Fortunately, your hearing aids should have no issue doing their job if you properly maintain them.
Consider this list before you do anything rash. If it’s not one of these common problems, it might be time to pay us a visit to ensure there isn’t a larger issue. Your hearing may have changed, for example, or you might need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
While hearing aid batteries have gotten significantly smaller and lifespans are getting better, the batteries still have to be occasionally replaced or recharged. So staying on top of charging your batteries is important. The first thing you need to do if your hearing aid starts to fail or cut in and out is check the battery.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
A battery tester is a beneficial investment, particularly if you like to stock up. Even if you keep batteries sealed until you need to use them, always a smart idea, they have a limited shelf life, and so the last batteries in that huge pack you bought months ago likely won’t hold a charge 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 potentially help the batteries last longer.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
No matter how clean you keep your ears, and if you have difficulty hearing, you’re a lot more likely than the average individual to stay on top of earwax, your hearing aids are going to collect debris and dirt. If you’re able to hear but sounds seem distorted or somewhat off, dirt might be the cause.
The fix: Clean Them Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can get a kit for keeping your hearing aids clean or you can use things you already have around the house to clean them. You can use a microfiber cloth, like the kind you use to clean your cellphone or glasses, to wipe your hearing aid down after disassembling it.
Simple hygiene habits will really help with keeping your hearing aids clean. Whenever you do something that calls for liquid or dampness, 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
Even a small amount of moisture can really damage your hearing aid (you don’t need to be underwater, even a sweat can be an issue). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be effected by humidity in the air. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling might happen depending on how much moisture has gotten in. They may even seem to stop working.
The fix: Keep Them Dry
Make sure that when you store your hearing aids, the battery door is open; and if you’re storing them for longer than overnight, take out the batteries completely. It takes almost zero effort and guarantees that air can circulate, and any trapped moisture can escape.
Store hearing aids in a cool, dry spot. The bedroom is a smart spot, skip the kitchen or bathroom. Although the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is exactly what you don’t want. If you live in a humid environment, you may want to think about getting a hearing aid storage box. Pricier models 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 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.