If you have hearing aids, you should be capable of hearing, right? When they aren’t working correctly, it can be downright infuriating, it’s a real “You had ONE job” scenario. The good news is, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should be up to the job.
Before you do anything extreme, look at this list. It might be time to come in and talk with us if you find it isn’t one of these common issues. 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 have to be replaced occasionally or recharged. So keeping up with charging your batteries is important. The first thing you need to 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, especially if you like to stock up, is a practical idea. Even if you keep batteries sealed until it’s time to use them, always a good plan, 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 open new batteries, wait 5 minutes before putting them in. This can help extend the battery life by allowing the zinc to activate.
Potential Pitfall: Grease, Grime, And Other Gross Stuff
Your hearing aids will collect debris and dirt regardless of how clean you keep your ears and if you have trouble hearing you’re probably more conscientious about earwax. If you can hear but sounds seem distorted or somewhat off, dirt may be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can purchase a kit for cleaning your hearing aids or you can use items 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.
You can help keep your hearing aids from gathering excess grime by employing basic hygiene habits. Whenever you do something that involves liquid or moisture, such as washing your face or styling your hair, take your hearing aids out and make certain your hands aren’t wet when handling them.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Even a little bit of moisture can really harm your hearing aid (think working up a sweat, not deep-sea diving). Even humidity in the air can be an issue, blocking up the hearing aid’s air vents or causing batteries to drain faster. Depending on how much moisture’s entered, you may experience problems from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They could even seem to stop working.
The fix: Keep ‘em 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 zero effort and ensures that air can circulate, and any captured moisture can escape.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to store your hearing aids. Don’t store them in the kitchen or bathroom. 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 might want to think about getting a hearing aid storage box. More expensive models 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 buy shoes) to take in moisture.
None of these are working out? It might be time to speak with us.