It’s been a whole new world for you since you got your hearing aid. Your friends have commented about the change they’ve seen in you: you’re more confident, happier, and more willing to attend social activities than you ever were before. But a glitch in your hearing aid is threatening to take all of that away, making you just as frustrated as you were before you got the device. Is it time to upgrade, or is there a way you can solve the problem that can save you the cost of replacement?
Common Hearing Aid Problems and How to Fix Them
Fortunately, many hearing aid issues can be fixed easily and inexpensively by the wearer. The first step is to visually inspect the outside of the device for any ear wax or debris that could be blocking the microphone opening or sound outlet. Next, make sure your device is clean, dry, and at room temperature before attempting to troubleshoot for:
- Dead device. Make sure the battery is fresh and is inserted properly. The battery contacts should be free of debris, and the battery door should close easily if the batteries are facing the correct way. If you are running through a lot of batteries, be sure the device is turned off at night and remove the batteries when not in use for several days. Give the device a gentle cleaning and replace the wax filter if it is clogged. If the device will still not turn on, take it to your hearing care professional for inspection, as it may be damaged.
- Volume problems. If your hearing aid is not loud enough, there may be a blockage preventing sound from traveling through your device. Brush away wax and debris, and inspect the tubing (if you have a BTE device) to make sure there are no cracks, holes, or moisture buildup. Try turning the volume all the way up, then all the way down, then up again. If none of these corrects the problem, it is best to make an appointment with a hearing care provider to see if your hearing condition has changed.
- Feedback. A whistling or screeching sound in your hearing aid is called feedback, and it could be happening for a number of reasons. First, the volume could be turned up too high. Next, your ear canal may contain a wax buildup that is blocking the sound transmission. Finally, the microphone could be improperly positioned, causing the device to “loop” sound. If the feedback stops when you remove, reinsert, or reposition the device, it may be time to have the fit adjusted by your hearing specialist. Our hearing care providers can examine your ear canal for blockages, safely remove any wax build-up, and ensure a proper fit of your hearing device.
- Spotty performance. If your device works well at some times, but not others, try replacing the battery. It may also help to turn the device on and off again a few times to clear any lint or debris from the controls. Moisture may have built up inside the device, so be sure to open the battery compartment at night and allow the hearing aid to dry completely when not in use.
- Distorted sound. If your device is delivering distorted sounds after the batteries have been replaced, make sure the battery contacts are free of debris and not corroded. Ensure that your device is set to microphone and not accidentally on telecoil mode. Try switching between a few different program settings to see if sounds are clearer on a different mode.
- Telephone problems. Many patients experience feedback when wearing a hearing aid and using the telephone. It may help to adjust the hearing aid volume and position the phone so that the speaker is pointed directly toward the hearing aid’s microphone opening. Some wearers find that reception is improved when their hearing aid is set to telecoil mode.
If you have been trying to fix your hearing aid to no avail, our technicians can examine your device and get to the root of the problem. Call or visit us today to speak to one of our hearing care professionals about the issues you’ve been having with your hearing aid.