If you’ve got hearing aids, you should be capable of hearing, right? When they aren’t working properly, it can be extremely frustrating, it’s a real “You had ONE job” situation. The good news is, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should continue to function efficiently.
Go through this list before you do anything hasty. It may be time to come in and see us if you find it isn’t one of these ordinary problems. Your hearing might have changed, for instance, or you might need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
Hearing aid batteries, while improving in quality, still require recharging and replacing occasionally. So keeping up with charging your batteries is crucial. If it seems as if the sound is diminishing or cutting in and out, check your battery first.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
A battery tester is a practical investment, particularly if you like to stock up. Even if you keep batteries sealed until you need 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 probably won’t maintain a charge as long as the first few did. Another trick: Wait five minutes after you unpack new batteries before you put them in your hearing aids. This gives the zinc time to activate, and can possibly help the batteries last longer.
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 most likely more conscientious about earwax. If you’re able to hear but sounds seem distorted or somewhat off, dirt could 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 items you already have around the house to clean them. 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.
You can help keep your hearing aids from collecting excess filth by practicing simple hygiene habits. Wash and dry your hands before you handle your hearing aids, and remove them while you’re doing things, such as washing your face, styling your hair, or even shaving, that may put them in jeopardy of being spritzed, sprayed, or splattered.
Potential Pitfall: Trapped Moisture
Moisture can wreak havoc on hearing aids, and it doesn’t take much to do so (think working up a sweat, not deep-sea diving). Even humidity in the air can be a problem, clogging up the hearing aid’s air vents or causing batteries to drain more quickly. Depending on how much moisture’s entered, you could experience problems from sound distortion to static, to crackling. They may even appear 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 captured moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to circulate with almost no effort on your part.
Store hearing aids in a cool, dry place. The bedroom is a practical spot, skip the kitchen or bathroom. Storing them in the bathroom might seem convenient but moisture is just too much. If you live in a humid climate, you may want to think about purchasing a hearing aid storage box. 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 shoes) to take in moisture.
None of the above are working out? It may be time to talk to us.