If you have hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When they aren’t working correctly, it can be extremely infuriating, it’s a real “You had ONE job” situation. Here’s the good news, with regular upkeep, your hearing aids should be up to the job.
Before you do anything drastic, consider this list. If it’s not one of these ordinary problems, it may be time to pay us a visit to ensure there isn’t a larger issue. For example, your hearing aids may 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. So staying on top of charging your batteries is important. The first thing you should do if your hearing aid starts to falter or cut in and out is check the battery.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
Investing in a battery tester, particularly if you like to stock up, is a smart idea. 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 bought months ago likely won’t maintain a charge as long as the first few did. Another trick: When you unpack new batteries, wait 5 minutes before installing them. This gives the zinc time to become active, and can possibly extend the life of the batteries.
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 a lot more likely than the average person to stay on top of earwax, your hearing aids will gather debris and dirt. If you can hear but sounds seem distorted or a bit off, dirt might be the cause.
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. You can use a microfiber cloth, like the kind you use to clean your computer screen or cellphone, to wipe your hearing aid down after disassembling it.
Simple hygiene practices will really help with keeping your hearing aids clean. Whenever you do something that calls for liquid or moisture, such as washing 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 much to do so (think working up a sweat, not deep-sea diving). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be effected by humidity in the air. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling may happen depending on how much moisture has gotten in. They might even seem to quit altogether.
The fix: Keep Them Dry
Leave the battery door open when you store your hearing aid overnight and any longer than that, remove the battery. Any captured moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to circulate with almost no effort on your part.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to keep your hearing aids. The bedroom is a practical spot, skip the bathroom or kitchen. Even though the latter is convenient, the moisture from a hot shower is precisely what you don’t want. If you live in a humid climate, you may want to consider getting a hearing aid storage box. More expensive 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 shoes) to take in moisture.
None of these are working out? It might be time to consult us.