If you have hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When they aren’t working right, it can be thoroughly infuriating, it’s a real “You had ONE job” situation. Here’s the good news, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should continue to function efficiently.
Before you do anything drastic, consider this list. It may 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 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. That means that it’s important to keep up with your hearing aids’ batteries. The first thing you need to do if your hearing aid starts to fail or cut in and out is check the battery.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
A battery tester is a beneficial investment, particularly if you like to stock up. Even if you keep batteries sealed until it’s time to use them, always a good idea, they have a limited shelf life, and so the last batteries in that huge pack you purchased months ago likely 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 can help extend the battery life by allowing the zinc to become active.
Potential Pitfall: Grease, Grime, And Other Gross Stuff
No matter how clean you keep your ears, and if you have a tough time hearing, you’re much more likely than the average person to pay attention to earwax, your hearing aids are going to gather debris and dirt. If you can hear but sounds seem distorted or a little off, dirt might be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can purchase a kit for keeping your hearing aids clean or you can use things you already have around the house to clean them. You can use a microfiber cloth, like the kind you use to clean your cellphone or glasses, to wipe your hearing aid down after taking it apart.
Simple hygiene practices will go a long way to keeping your hearing aids clean. Whenever you do something that involves liquid or dampness, such as washing your face or styling your hair, take your hearing aids out and make sure your hands aren’t wet when handling them.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Even a small amount of moisture can really harm your hearing aid (you don’t need to be underwater, even a sweat can be an issue). Even humidity in the air can be an issue, clogging up the hearing aid’s air vents or draining more quickly. Depending on how much moisture’s gotten in, you might experience issues from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They might even seem to shut down.
The fix: Keep ‘em Dry
Be certain 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. Although the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is exactly what you don’t want. You will probably want to purchase a hearing aid storage box if you live in a very humid climate. Pricier versions plug in, but less expensive options 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.
If you’ve tried all of these and none of them are helping then it may be time for a consultation with us.