We tend to notice technology the most when it stops working. With hearing aids that’s particularly true: To most people who use them, hearing aids are more than a piece of technology; they’re a critical lifeline to the rest of the world.
It’s both emotionally and physiologically essential to come up with solutions for broken hearing aids as quickly as possible. Whether you’ve been wearing your hearing aids for a week, a year, or decades, troubleshooting can be a risky, frustrating process. But there are some fairly easy measures you can try to get your hearing aid working properly again.
Before Trouble Occurs Take Preventative Measures
Any advanced piece of technology requires maintenance, and hearing aids are no exception. Even though the casing may look simple and robust, the electronics inside can be incredibly sophisticated.
Which means upkeep is essential. There are a few simple ways you can make sure to take care of your hearing aids as you’re wearing them.
Keep Your Hearing Aids Clean
Your ears normally and naturally produce a certain amount of wax every day. And, to some degree, that earwax is good for your ears. But it’s not so great for your hearing aids. Keeping your hearing aids clean and clear of wax buildup can improve the longevity of the devices. In fact, most hearing aids will come with a built-in wax filter that should also be cleaned periodically.
Don’t Let Your Hearing Aids Get Wet
Electronics and moisture don’t mix. And despite the best protection technology can build, consistent subjection to moisture can eventually wear out the internal electronics of your hearing aids, compromising their performance.
This means that you should not wear your hearing aids in the shower or while in the pool. Additionally, if your hearing aids do become wet, towel-dry them; heat from a hairdryer, for example, can harm your hearing aids.
Make an Appointment With Professional Cleaners
Hearing aids are delicate (and commonly expensive) technology, and as such, they call for specialized cleaning practices. Even if you’re fairly thorough about your own cleaning routines, there are just some things that can be better achieved by a specialized cleaner.
That’s why it’s suggested that you take your hearing aids in to be cleaned every 4-6 months.
Troubleshooting Issues That Are Already Happening
Even if your hearing aids are currently working, you will still need to take protective steps. You’re most likely more interested in quick fixes if your having issues with your hearing aids not working anymore.
Try one of the following steps if your hearing aids aren’t working correctly:
- Inspect your hearing aid for debris or wax accumulate. If you discover any wax accumulation or debris, clean them away.
- Inspect your hearing aids for visible signs of damage, like cracks or blemishes. Your hearing aid may need to be repaired if you find any of this type of damage.
- Check for loose wiring or corrosion inside the battery compartment. If you find corrosion, you can try carefully cleaning out, but considerable damage will have to be repaired professionally.
- Adjust the volume. There will be either a volume wheel on the hearing aid or a remote you can use to do this. If your hearing aid has both options, try doing both.
- Check your own ears. Sound from your hearing aid might be blocked by earwax buildup.
- Change the settings or switch between programs. Many hearing aids are different in this regard, so your course of action will depend on the model you’re using.
- Turn your hearing aid of then back on. In some cases, this will fix the problem.
- Replace your battery or power source, even if your batteries are rechargeable.
If none of these steps address your hearing aid troubles, it’s likely that you’ll have to have the device fixed professionally in order to bring it back to peak operating condition.
What if Nothing I Try Works?
When your hearing aids aren’t functioning properly anymore and troubleshooting has not addressed the problem, you will likely have two choices: either send the hearing aids in for repair or purchase a new set of hearing aids. The age of your hearing aids, your personal situation, and other variables will determine which choice will work best for you.
If your hearing aids aren’t functioning properly right now, take the time to try some troubleshooting. A discussion with your hearing professional to determine a solution is the next step if that doesn’t work. To find a solution make your appointment right away.