Your hearing aids should improve your hearing right? When they aren’t working correctly, it can be thoroughly infuriating, it’s a real “You had ONE job” scenario. The good news is, with regular upkeep, your hearing aids should continue to function efficiently.
Before you do anything extreme, consider this list. If it’s not one of these common problems, it may be time to pay us a visit to ensure there isn’t a larger problem. 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 considerably smaller and lifespans are improving, the batteries still have to be replaced occasionally or recharged. So staying on top of charging your batteries is crucial. The first thing you should do if your hearing aid begins to fail or cut in and out is check the battery.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
A battery tester is a practical investment, particularly if you like to stock up. 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: When you unpack new batteries, wait 5 minutes before installing them. This gives the zinc time to activate, and can potentially extend the life of the batteries.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
No matter how clean you keep your ears, and if you have difficulty hearing, you’re much more likely than the average individual to stay on top of earwax, your hearing aids are going to collect dirt and debris. You might find yourself with a dirt problem if sounds seem a little off or distorted.
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 keep them clean. 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 hardware.
Simple hygiene habits will really help with keeping your hearing aids clean. Wash and dry your hands before you take care of your hearing aids, and remove them while you’re doing anything, such as washing your face, styling your hair, or even shaving, that might put them in danger of being spritzed, sprayed, or splattered.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Even a small amount of moisture can really damage your hearing aid (think working up a sweat, not deep-sea diving). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be impacted by humidity in the air. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling may happen depending on how much moisture is inside. They may even seem to shut down.
The fix: Keep Them Dry
Keep the battery door open when you store your hearing aid overnight and any longer than that, remove the battery. It takes almost zero effort and ensures that air can circulate, and any captured moisture can get out.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to store your hearing aids. Don’t keep them in 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 might want to consider purchasing a hearing aid storage box. More expensive versions 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 may be time to talk to us.