If you have hearing aids, you should be capable of hearing, right? When they aren’t working right, it can be downright frustrating, it’s a total “You had ONE job” scenario. The good news is, with regular maintenance, your hearing aids should continue to function efficiently.
Before you do anything extreme, consider this list. It might be time to come in and see us if you find it isn’t one of these ordinary problems. Your hearing may have changed, for instance, or you may need a hearing aid recalibration.
Potential Pitfall: Low Batteries
Hearing aid batteries, while improving in quality, still require recharging and replacing sometimes. So staying on top of charging your batteries is important. The first thing you should 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. Even if you keep batteries sealed until you need to use them, always a smart idea, they have a limited shelf life, and so the last batteries in that giant pack you purchased months ago likely won’t last as long as the first few did. Another trick: When you open new batteries, wait 5 minutes before putting them in. This gives the zinc time to activate, and can potentially extend the life of the batteries.
Potential Pitfall: Gross Things Like Wax And Grime
No matter how clean you keep your ears, and if you have a tough time hearing, you’re much more likely than the average person to pay attention to earwax, your hearing aids will accumulate dirt and debris. You might find yourself with a dirt problem if sounds seem a little bit off or distorted.
The fix: Clean Them Out—And Keep Them Clean!
There are plenty of products available specifically for cleaning hearing aids, but you can DIY it with items you already have around the house. Once you’ve taken apart 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 components.
Simple hygiene practices will go a long way to keeping your hearing aids clean. 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 small amount of moisture can really damage your hearing aid (think working up a sweat, not deep-sea diving). Even humidity in the air can be a problem, blocking up the hearing aid’s air vents or draining more quickly. Problems ranging from distortion to static or even crackling may happen depending on how much moisture is inside. They might even seem to shut down.
The fix: Keep ‘em Dry
Leave 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 guarantees that air can circulate, and any trapped moisture can escape.
A cool, dry place is the best spot to store your hearing aids. The bedroom is a practical spot, skip the bathroom or kitchen. Even though the latter is convenient, the steam from a hot shower is exactly what you don’t want. If you live in a humid climate, you may want to think about getting a hearing aid storage box. More expensive versions plug in, but less costly models 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 the above are working out? It might be time to talk to us.