If you’ve got hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When your hearing aid fails at its one job, it can be really frustrating. The good news is, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should be up to the job.
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 ordinary problems. Your hearing may have changed, for instance, or you might need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
Hearing aid batteries, while improving in quality, still need to be recharged or replaced occasionally. That means that it’s important to maintain your hearing aids’ batteries. The first thing you should do if your hearing aid starts to fail or cut in and out is check the battery.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
Purchasing a battery tester, especially if you like to stock up, is a smart idea. Batteries have a shelf life so the last batteries in the pack might not have the same voltage as the first few even if you keep them sealed. Another trick: Wait five minutes after you unpack new batteries before you install them. This can help the batteries last longer by allowing the zinc to become active.
Potential Pitfall: Grease, Grime, And Other Gross Stuff
Regardless of how clean you keep your ears, and if you have a tough time hearing, you’re much more likely than the average person to stay on top of earwax, your hearing aids will gather debris and dirt. If you’re able to hear but sounds seem distorted or slightly off, dirt may be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can get a kit for cleaning your hearing aids or you can use things 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.
You can help keep your hearing aids from attracting excess filth by employing simple hygiene practices. Clean and dry your hands before you handle your hearing aids, and take them out while you’re doing things, such as washing up, styling your hair, or even shaving, that might put them in jeopardy of being spritzed, sprayed, or splattered.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Even a small amount of moisture can really damage your hearing aid (think sweating, not snorkeling). Even humidity in the air can be a problem, blocking up the hearing aid’s air vents or causing batteries to drain faster. Depending on how much moisture’s entered, you might experience problems from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They might even appear to quit altogether.
The fix: Keep Them 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 24 hours, remove the batteries completely. Any captured moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to flow with almost no effort on your part.
Store hearing aids in a cool, dry spot. The bedroom is a smart spot, skip the kitchen or bathroom. Storing them in the bathroom might seem convenient but moisture is just too much. You will likely want to get a hearing aid storage box if you live in a very humid environment. 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 purchase a pair of shoes) to take in moisture.
None of the above are working? It might be time to talk to us.