Learn helpful hints for solving your hearing aid challenges.
For some people with hearing loss, hearing aids can be beneficial assistive listening devices. However, like all modern technology, hearing aids can occasionally malfunction or have mechanical issues. In this post, we’re exploring troubleshooting ideas to solve the following common hearing aid problems. Of course, it’s best to talk to your audiologist if you’re having severe hearing aid problems. The following are simply suggestions for quick fixes that may help keep your device running smoothly.
- Device won’t turn on
- Low volume
- Too much earwax
- Excess moisture
Device won’t turn on
If your hearing aid doesn’t appear to be working or won’t turn on, the first thing you should check is the batteries. Hearing aids require tiny batteries to operate and may only have a life of four days to two weeks. Carrying spare batteries with you when you’re out is a great way to ensure your device doesn’t stop working due to a low battery. To help extend your hearing aid battery life, consider turning your hearing aids off when they are not in use (such as during sleeping hours).
If you try changing the batteries and your device still won’t turn on, you may need to replace the tubing or wiring in your device. Your audiologist can help fix these hearing aid issues in their office if needed.
When your hearing aids don’t seem loud enough, you may want to visually examine the outside. Do you see earwax blocking the microphone opening or the sound outlet? If so, it may be time for a thorough cleaning. Another troubleshooting tip for sound issues is to check the volume control settings on your device, as well as the program settings. You may have accidentally switched your hearing aids to the “T” setting (for loop listening). A final tip to combat this common hearing aid problem is to try reinserting your devices. The volume may not sound loud enough because they might not have been positioned correctly in your ear.
While most newer hearing aids have automatic features that cancel feedback as much as possible, you may occasionally hear a whistling or chirping sound. It can happen when laying on a pillow, wearing a hat or scarf, and sometimes when talking or chewing. These actions can trap sound and cause it to re-enter the microphone as feedback. To avoid this common hearing aid problem, make sure the tip of the hearing aid is placed securely inside the ear. If you find the feedback disruptive, talk to your audiologist to ensure your device fits properly, and discuss any additional ways to troubleshoot this issue.
Too much earwax
Earwax build-up commonly interferes with hearing aids because it can block the device’s microphone and other small parts. You can help prevent this issue by incorporating regular cleanings into your hearing aid care routine. It’s also a good idea to wipe your devices clean after you remove them each time to help avoid build-up on the outside of the devices themselves. Talk to your audiologist if you need help removing excess earwax from both your ears and your device.
For more on earwax, check out our blog post on What is Ear Wax and Why is it Necessary here.
Moisture from sweat, weather, bathing, and swimming is another common concern for hearing aid users. Too much water can damage the microphone or receiver, clog tubing, and cause corrosion. While a little moisture will likely not harm your device, it’s best to remove your hearing aids before showering or swimming where your ears will be submerged. Until truly waterproof hearing aid models come onto the market, stowing your hearing aids in a safe place while you’re doing these activities can help prevent this common hearing aid problem.
To help protect your device from the effects of moisture, open your battery door at night and use a hearing aid dehumidifier to dry them out. If you live in a moist environment, a dehumidifier for hearing aids is also a safe place to store your devices when not in use. Ensuring that your hearing aids aren’t exposed to excessive moisture can help prevent long-term damage to the device.
Check out these ways to care for your hearing aids in the summer to help troubleshoot seasonal effects on your device.
New hearing aid users may experience mild headaches or the sensation of plugged ears as they begin to adjust to their device. During this adjustment period, you may notice that your voice sounds different or noises may sound sharp. If you have persistent or worsening headaches or discomfort when you are adjusting to new hearing aids, talk to your audiologist about getting refitted or having the settings reconfigured. Wearing hearing aids should not be painful! Your doctor can help ensure the perfect fit and adjust the settings to your needs so it’s easier to adapt to your device.
Stuck dials and switches, cracks, exposed wires, a broken battery door, or noise when you open or close your mouth are signs that your hearing aid needs to be repaired. Avoid troubleshooting these hearing aid problems on your own. Instead, take your device to your audiologist for help.
Not everyone with hearing loss chooses to use hearing aids. But if they’re part of your hearing health care routine, these hints can help you tackle common hearing aid problems like a pro.