Your hearing aids should improve your hearing right? When your hearing aid stops doing its job, it can be really frustrating. The good news is, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should be up to the job.
Before you do anything drastic, look at this list. It might be time to come in and see us if you find it’s not one of these common problems. For instance, your hearing aids might need recalibration, or your hearing may have changed.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
Hearing aid batteries, while improving in quality, still need to be recharged or replaced occasionally. That means that it’s essential to maintain your hearing aids’ batteries. If it seems like the sound is diminishing or cutting in and out, check your battery first.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
A battery tester is a worthwhile investment, especially if you like to stock up. Even if you keep batteries sealed until it’s time to use them, always a smart plan, 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: When you open new batteries, wait 5 minutes before installing them. This gives the zinc time to become active, and can potentially help the batteries last longer.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
Your hearing aids will gather debris and dirt regardless of 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!
There are lots of products on the market specifically for cleaning hearing aids, but you can DIY it with items you already have around the house. Once you’ve taken apart your hearing aids, use a soft, microfiber cloth (like you’d use to clean glasses or smartphone) to wipe down the hardware.
You can help keep your hearing aids from accumulating excess filth by practicing simple hygiene practices. Whenever you do something that involves liquid or dampness, such as cleaning your face or styling your hair, take your hearing aids out and make certain your hands are dry when handling them.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Moisture can be a real problem for hearing aids, and it doesn’t take very much to do so (think working up a sweat, not snorkeling). Even humidity in the air can be a problem, blocking up the hearing aid’s air vents or draining faster. Depending on how much moisture’s gotten in, you might experience problems from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They might even seem to stop working.
The fix: Keep ‘em 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 move, and any trapped moisture can escape.
Store hearing aids in a cool, dry place. The bedroom is a practical spot, skip the bathroom or kitchen. Keeping them in the bathroom may seem convenient but moisture is just too much. If you live in a humid environment, you may want to consider purchasing a hearing aid storage box. More expensive versions plug in, but less expensive models 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.
None of these are working out? It may be time to speak with us.