If you have hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When your hearing aid fails at its one job, it can be really frustrating. Luckily, your hearing aids should have no problem doing their job if you properly maintain them.
Go through this list before you do anything hasty. It might be time to come in and see us if you find it’s not one of these common issues. For example, your hearing aids may 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 need to be occasionally replaced or recharged. So keeping up with charging your batteries is important. The first thing you should 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. 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 installing them. This gives the zinc time to activate, and can possibly extend the life of the batteries.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
Regardless of how clean you keep your ears, and if you have difficulty hearing, you’re a lot more likely than the average individual to stay on top of earwax, your hearing aids are going to collect dirt and debris. You may find yourself with a dirt problem if sounds seem slightly off or distorted.
The fix: Clean ‘em 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 clean them. Once you’ve disassembled 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 hardware.
Simple hygiene habits will really help with keeping your hearing aids clean. Clean and dry your hands before you take care of your hearing aids, and take them out while you’re doing anything, like washing up, styling your hair, or even shaving, that may 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 an issue). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be effected by humidity in the air. Depending on how much moisture’s gotten in, you could experience issues from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They may even seem to stop working.
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 no effort and guarantees that air can move, 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. Even though the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is specifically what you don’t want. If you live in a humid environment, you might want to think about getting a hearing aid storage box. Pricier 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 shoes) to take in moisture.
None of the above are working out? It might be time to talk to us.