If you’ve got hearing aids, you should be able to hear, right? When they aren’t working right, 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 continue to function efficiently.
Consider 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 common issues. Your hearing may 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 sometimes. So keeping up with charging your batteries is important. The first thing you need to do if your hearing aid starts to fail or cut in and out is check the battery.
The fix: Keep ‘em Fresh
Investing in a battery tester, particularly if you like to stock up, is a worthwhile idea. Batteries have a shelf life so the last batteries in the pack may not have the same voltage as the first few even if you keep them sealed. Another trick: When you unpack new batteries, wait 5 minutes before putting them in. 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 collect debris and dirt no matter 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 slightly off, dirt could be the cause.
The fix: Clean ‘em Out—And Keep Them Clean!
You can buy a kit for cleaning your hearing aids or you can use items you already have around the house to keep them clean. Once you’ve disassembled your hearing aids, use a soft, microfiber cloth (like you’d use to clean the screen of a computer or smartphone) to wipe down the hardware.
Simple hygiene practices will go a long way to keeping your hearing aids clean. Whenever you do something that calls for liquid or moisture, such as cleaning 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 much to do so (think working up a sweat, not deep-sea diving). The vent in the hearing aid and the battery can even be impacted by humidity in the air. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling may happen depending on how much moisture is inside. They might even seem to quit altogether.
The fix: Keep Them Dry
Be sure that when you store your hearing aids, you open the battery door; and if you’re taking them out for longer than overnight, take out the batteries entirely. Any captured moisture will be able to evaporate and air will be able to circulate with very little effort on your part.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to store your hearing aids. The bedroom is a practical spot, skip the bathroom or kitchen. Storing them in the bathroom may seem convenient but there’s just too much moisture. You will likely want to purchase a hearing aid storage box if you live in an overly humid climate. Most versions use a desiccant in the form of a little moisture absorbing packet, but some more expensive models get rid of moisture with electronics.
None of these are working? It may be time to talk to us.