If you have hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When they aren’t working correctly, it can be extremely infuriating, it’s a total “You had ONE job” scenario. The good news is, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should continue to function efficiently.
Before you do anything extreme, go through this list. If it’s not one of these common problems, it may be time to pay us a visit to make sure there isn’t a more substantial issue. Your hearing may 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 sometimes. That means that it’s important to keep up with your hearing aids’ batteries. The first thing you need to do if your hearing aid starts 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 worthwhile 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 you keep them sealed. Another trick: Wait five minutes after you open new batteries before you install them. This gives the zinc time to become active, and can possibly extend the life of the batteries.
Potential Pitfall: Grease, Grime, And Other Gross Stuff
Regardless of how clean you keep your ears, and if you have a hard time hearing, you’re a lot more likely than the average person to pay attention to earwax, your hearing aids will gather debris and dirt. If you can hear but sounds seem distorted or a bit off, dirt might be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
There are lots of products available specifically for cleaning hearing aids, but you can DIY it with things you already have around the house. Once you’ve disassembled your hearing aids, use a soft, microfiber cloth (like you’d use to clean glasses or smartphone) to wipe down the components.
Simple hygiene practices 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
Moisture can be a real problem for hearing aids, and it doesn’t take much to do so (you won’t need to be underwater, even a sweat can be problematic). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be impacted by humidity in the air. Depending on how much moisture’s entered, you might experience problems from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They may even appear to quit altogether.
The fix: Keep ‘em 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 24 hours, remove the batteries entirely. It takes almost zero effort and ensures that air can move, and any trapped moisture can get out.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to store your hearing aids. The bedroom is a smart spot, skip the bathroom or kitchen. Although the latter is convenient, the moisture from a hot shower is exactly what you don’t want. If you live in a humid environment, you may want to consider purchasing a hearing aid storage box. 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 shoes) to take in moisture.
None of the above are working? It might be time to talk to us.