If you’ve got hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When your hearing aid stops doing its job, it can be really frustrating. The good news is, with regular upkeep, your hearing aids should continue to function efficiently.
Before you do anything drastic, go through this list. If it’s not one of these common problems, it may be time to schedule an appointment with us to ensure there isn’t a bigger issue. Your hearing might have changed, for instance, or you might need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
While hearing aid batteries have gotten dramatically smaller and lifespans are getting better, the batteries still have to be replaced occasionally or recharged. So staying on top of charging your batteries is important. The first thing you need to do if your hearing aid begins to falter or cut in and out is check the battery.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
Purchasing a battery tester, particularly if you like to stock up, is a smart idea. 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: Wait five minutes after you unpack new batteries before you install them. This gives the zinc time to activate, and can possibly help the batteries last longer.
Potential Pitfall: Grease, Grime, And Other Gross Stuff
Your hearing aids will collect dirt and debris no matter how clean you keep your ears and if you have problems hearing you’re most likely more conscientious about earwax. If you can hear but sounds seem distorted or a bit off, dirt might be the cause.
The fix: Clean Them Out—And Keep Them Clean!
There are plenty of products on the market specifically for cleaning hearing aids, but you can DIY it with things you already have around the house. Once you’ve taken apart your hearing aids, use a soft, microfiber cloth (like you’d use to clean glasses or smartphone) to wipe down the components.
You can help keep your hearing aids from attracting excess filth by practicing basic hygiene habits. Whenever you do something that calls for liquid or dampness, such as washing your face or styling your hair, take your hearing aids out and make sure your hands are dry when handling them.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Moisture can be a real problem for hearing aids, and it doesn’t take very much to do so (you won’t need to be underwater, even a sweat can be a problem). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be effected by humidity in the air. Issues ranging from distortion to static or even crackling may happen depending on how much moisture has gotten in. They could even seem to stop working.
The fix: Keep Them Dry
Leave the battery door open when you store your hearing aid overnight and any longer than that, remove the battery. Any captured moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to circulate with very little effort on your part.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to store your hearing aids. The bedroom is a smart spot, skip the kitchen or bathroom. Although the latter is convenient, the moisture from a hot shower is specifically what you don’t want. If you live in a humid climate, you may want to think about investing in a hearing aid storage box. More expensive models plug in, but less expensive options use desiccants or gels (yes, like those “throw away do not eat” packets you find in the box when you purchase shoes) to take in moisture.
None of the above are working out? It might be time to speak with us.