If you’ve got hearing aids, you should be capable of hearing, right? When they aren’t working properly, it can be downright infuriating, it’s a total “You had ONE job” situation. The good news is, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should be up to the job.
Before you do anything extreme, look at this list. It might be time to come in and talk with us if you find it’s not one of these common issues. For instance, your hearing aids might need recalibration, or your hearing may have changed.
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 keeping up with charging your batteries is important. If it seems as if the sound is fading or cutting in and out, check your battery first.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
A battery tester is a beneficial investment, particularly if you like to stock up. Batteries have a shelf life so the last batteries in the pack may not have the same voltage as the first few even if they stay sealed. Another trick: When you open new batteries, wait 5 minutes before putting them in. This gives the zinc time to activate, and can possibly help the batteries last longer.
Potential Pitfall: Grease, Grime, And Other Gross Stuff
No matter how clean you keep your ears, and if you have a hard time hearing, you’re much 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 little off, dirt could be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can get a kit for keeping your hearing aids clean or you can use items you already have around the house to keep them clean. Once you’ve taken apart your hearing aids, use a soft, microfiber cloth (like you’d use to clean the screen of a computer or smartphone) to wipe down the components.
You can help stop your hearing aids from accumulating excess grime by practicing basic hygiene habits. Clean and dry your hands before you handle your hearing aids, and take them out while you’re doing anything, such as washing your face, styling your hair, or even shaving, that may put them in jeopardy of being spritzed, sprayed, or splattered.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Moisture can wreak havoc on hearing aids, and it doesn’t take much to do so (you don’t need to be underwater, even a sweat can be a problem). Even humidity in the air can be a problem, blocking up the hearing aid’s air vents or draining faster. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling may happen depending on how much moisture is inside. They might even seem to stop working.
The fix: Keep ‘em Dry
Make sure that when you store your hearing aids, the battery door is open; and if you’re taking them out for longer than overnight, remove the batteries completely. It takes almost zero effort and ensures that air can move, and any trapped moisture can escape.
Store hearing aids in a cool, dry spot. Don’t store them in the bathroom or kitchen. Storing them in the bathroom might seem convenient but there’s just too much moisture. You will likely want to purchase a hearing aid storage box if you live in an overly humid climate. More expensive versions plug in, but less costly options use desiccants or gels (yes, like those “throw away do not eat” packets you find in the box when you buy shoes) to absorb moisture.
If you’ve tried all of these and none of them are helping then it may be time for a consultation with us.