Your hearing aids should improve your hearing right? When your hearing aid stops doing its job, it can be extremely frustrating. Here’s the good news, with regular upkeep, your hearing aids should continue to function efficiently.
Go through this list before you do anything hasty. It may be time to come in and see us if you find it isn’t one of these common issues. Your hearing may have changed, for instance, or you may need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
While hearing aid batteries have gotten considerably smaller and lifespans are improving, the batteries still need to be occasionally replaced or recharged. So keeping up with charging your batteries is important. The first thing you need to do if your hearing aid begins 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 smart idea. Even if you keep batteries sealed until you need to use them, always a smart idea, they have a limited shelf life, and so the last batteries in that huge pack you bought months ago probably won’t last as long as the first few did. Another trick: Wait five minutes after you open new batteries before you put them in your hearing aids. This gives the zinc time to become active, and can possibly extend the life of the batteries.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
Your hearing aids will gather debris and dirt no matter how clean you keep your ears and if you have trouble hearing you’re most likely more conscientious about earwax. You may find yourself with a dirt issue if sounds seem slightly off or distorted.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can get a kit for cleaning your hearing aids or you can use items you already have around the house to keep them clean. You can use a microfiber cloth, like the kind you use to clean your cellphone or glasses, to wipe your hearing aid down after disassembling it.
Simple hygiene practices will go a long way to keeping your hearing aids clean. Wash 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 might put them at risk of being spritzed, sprayed, or splattered.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Moisture can be a real problem for hearing aids, and it doesn’t take much to do so (you don’t need to be underwater, even sweating can be a problem). Even humidity in the air can be an issue, blocking up the hearing aid’s air vents or causing batteries to drain faster. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling might happen depending on how much moisture has gotten in. 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, take the battery out. It takes almost zero effort and guarantees that air can circulate, and any trapped moisture can escape.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to keep your hearing aids. The bedroom is a practical spot, skip the kitchen or bathroom. Although the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is specifically what you don’t want. You will likely want to purchase a hearing aid storage box if you live in a very humid environment. More expensive 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 buy a pair of shoes) to absorb moisture.
None of the above are working? It may be time to speak with us.