If you have hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When your hearing aid stops doing its job, it can be really frustrating. Fortunately, your hearing aids should have no issue doing their job if you properly maintain them.
Go over this list before you do anything rash. It might be time to come in and see us if you find it isn’t one of these common issues. For example, your hearing aids may need recalibration, or your hearing could 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. That means that it’s important to keep up with 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
Purchasing a battery tester, especially if you like to stock up, is a worthwhile idea. Even if you keep batteries sealed until you need to use them, always a smart idea, they have a limited shelf life, and so the last batteries in that giant pack you purchased 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 possibly help the batteries last longer.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
Your hearing aids will accumulate debris and dirt regardless of how clean you keep your ears and if you have difficulty hearing you’re probably more conscientious about earwax. If you can hear but sounds seem distorted or a bit off, dirt might be the cause.
The fix: Clean Them Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can buy 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 computer screen or cellphone, to wipe your hearing aid down after taking it apart.
Simple hygiene practices will really help with 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
Moisture can be a real problem for hearing aids, and it doesn’t take very much to do so (think sweating, not deep-sea diving). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be impacted by humidity in the air. Issues ranging from distortion to static or even crackling might happen depending on how much moisture is inside. They might even seem to quit altogether.
The fix: Keep ‘em Dry
Leave the battery door open when you store your hearing aid overnight and any longer than that, remove the battery. Any trapped moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to flow with very little effort on your part.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to keep your hearing aids. Don’t keep them in the kitchen or bathroom. Keeping them in the bathroom may seem convenient but there’s just too much moisture. You will probably want to get a hearing aid storage box if you live in an overly humid climate. More expensive versions 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 shoes) to absorb moisture.
None of these are working out? It might be time to speak with us.