Hearing aids are highly complex technological devices, and like any similar device, they occasionally need to be repaired or replaced. Here’s what you need to know about hearing aid troubleshooting and when your hearing aids might need to be repaired.
What causes hearing aid damage?
Hearing aids can malfunction for several reasons, some of which are related to the technology and cannot be prevented. But here are some things you can do to keep your hearing aids functioning properly for as long as possible:
- Clean your ears regularly with a warm washcloth. Earwax is probably the worst enemy of hearing aids – it can get into the little crevices of the devices and clog the microphone. Some people who wear hearing aids choose to have their ears professionally cleaned.
- When you remove your hearing aids each night, remember to clean them with a soft, dry cloth to remove any dust, dirt or earwax. Most hearing aids come with a wax loop and other tools to remove ear wax that is blocking the tube or other parts of your devices. Don’t poke anything into the microphone port, but when you clean it, tip it upside down so any dislodged debris will fall out rather than into the microphone.
- Prevent your hearing aids from getting wet by storing them in a sealed container. If you think they’ve been exposed to any moisture at all, purchase a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier.
When to be concerned?
If you are having an issue with your hearing aids, there might be an easy fix that you can do at home, or you might need to have your hearing aids checked out with a local audiologist or hearing care professional. There are various ways to have your hearing aids fixed, but the best is to check with your audiologist. He or she can likely send your assistive listening devices back to the manufacturer for repair. Here are some examples of when your hearing aids might need to be repaired or replaced and what you should check for first:
- Check the batteries with a battery tester – if they are low or not working, immediately remove them from your hearing aids so they don’t corrode the inside.
- If you hear feedback – whistling, chirping or similar noises that interfere with hearing – it might be caused by a hole in the interior vent, a malfunction of internal tubing or even an improper fit.
- Check to make sure your hearing aids are turned on and that the dials and switches are moving easily and are not stuck or too loose.
- Look to see if the hearing aid has cracks, exposed wires or a broken battery door.
- If you hear noise when you open or close your mouth, your hearing aid likely needs to be fixed.
- Hearing aids that are uncomfortable or cause pain need to be repaired or replaced. They should not be painful to wear! Visit your hearing healthcare professional for help in determining whether your hearing aids need to be repaired or replaced entirely.