It is well known that hearing can decrease over time for a variety of reasons. Whether it is due to old age, prolonged exposure to loud noises, or a severe health condition, hearing impairment can easily disrupt a person’s life. While it cannot be restored completely, you can improve your hearing ability by wearing hearing aids.
In general, people who are experiencing some form of hearing loss can greatly benefit from hearing aids. Not only will the device help them hear better, but it will also improve their communication with others, offer greater independence, reduce anxiety and depression, lower the risk of cognitive decline, and combat tinnitus symptoms.
However, like other electronics, hearing aids can also experience technical issues which require immediate repair. Here are four steps to take to troubleshoot common hearing aid problems.
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Check the batteries
All hearing aids, regardless of the type or technology level, run on either rechargeable or disposable batteries. The batteries are the main power source for the device and it is important to ensure they perform as intended.
Unfortunately, the batteries may run out of juice too quickly, decreasing the device’s functionality. When this happens, you will either have to recharge or replace the batteries.
However, with rechargeable hearing devices, the issue isn’t always with the batteries, but with the charger instead. For example, even devices from a quality brand like Phonak may experience some charging problems which require immediate repair. Some Phonak hearing aid troubleshooting steps you can take are using a different charging port or swapping to a different outlet.
Make sure it’s turned on
Although it may sound funny, sometimes the main reason why your hearing aid isn’t working is that it has been turned off. This is something that can happen to anyone accidentally and it can be easily fixed simply by turning the device on.
If the hearing aids are turned on but they are still not working, then check to see if you have accidentally put on the telecoil, or “t” setting. Then, install new batteries and close the battery door fully.
Even after taking these steps, if your device still isn’t working properly, then it is time to call an audiologist. Most of these simple issues can be quickly fixed in the office on the same day of your visit.
Check the volume settings
Feedback and whistling are some of the most common hearing aid issues you may be experiencing with your device. They usually occur when the amplified sound boomerangs from the ear canal back to the microphone. The feedback you get may come across as a squeal, a wind-like noise, a whistling sound, or a high-pitched buzz.
Fortunately, most of today’s modern hearing aid devices have been designed to reduce such issues in simple ways. One of the easiest is to check the volume settings to make sure it isn’t too loud. Depending on the type of device you have, you can do this either by manually turning the volume down or by setting the hearing aids to the proper program.
Keep the device clean and cared for
It is no secret that hearing aids can cost a lot of money. To keep them working properly, it is important that you keep your device clean and well cared for to avoid having to repeatedly repair or replace it. Some helpful ways you can do that are:
- Use a damp cloth or tissue to remove wax buildup to clean the hearing aid shell;
- Use warm, soapy water to clean the earmold and then dry it with an air blower to remove water from the tubing;
- Use your hearing aids brush to brush across the microphone port;
- Use the small wire loop provided to clean the receiver.
If you are looking for an even deeper cleaning, you can use a hearing aid sanitizing solution recommended by your audiologist for complete disinfection.
No matter what the reason for your hearing loss is, you can rely on a hearing aids to improve your hearing ability. However, like most electronics, these devices can also experience technical issues which require immediate repair. For more information, refer to our post and read how you can troubleshoot the most common hearing aid issues.