Hearing aids are magical little devices that have the ability to change the lives of people with hearing loss. By allowing people to better hear their surroundings, hearing aids allow people with hearing loss to have meaningful conversations and engage with the world around them.
But what happens when a hearing aid malfunctions or doesn’t function as it should? Do you have the knowledge and skills necessary to perform minor repairs on your hearing aids?
Although countless people around the world rely on hearing aids to treat their hearing loss, many of these people don’t know how to identify and troubleshoot common problems with their devices. There are a number of different issues that can arise with hearing aids, some of which require professional assistance, but many of which can be dealt with quickly and easily on your own.
If you wear hearing aids, it’s a good idea for you to know how to handle some of the more common issues. Here are some problems to look out for:
Hearing Aids That Stop Producing Sound
A lack of sound is one of the most common issues that people who wear hearing aids face. Unfortunately, this problem can have a wide number of different causes, so we first need to identify the underlying issue before we can fix our hearing aid. If your hearing aid isn’t producing sound, try the following:
- Take off the hearing aid and visually inspect it. Pay particular attention to the microphone opening and the ear mold, if you have them. There may be earwax or debris blocking the sound.
- Turn the hearing aid on. This may seem obvious, but it’s an easy step to overlook. If the device won’t turn on, open the battery compartment and check to see if the battery is installed correctly. Try replacing the battery if it still won’t turn on.
- Adjust the volume settings on the hearing aid. It’s possible, especially with manually-controlled devices, that the volume was accidentally turned down.
- Test out the different settings on your device. This will help you identify if the issue is with just one setting or with the entire device.
- Consider the possibility that your hearing aid was damaged by water or another force. Your hearing healthcare professional is a good resource if you still can’t get your hearing aid to produce sound.
Hearing Aids That Aren’t Loud Enough
If your hearing aids aren’t producing a loud enough sound, you may struggle to hear what’s going on around you. Thus it’s important that your devices can operate at a volume that you can actually hear. If your hearing aids aren’t loud enough, try the following tricks to fix them:
- Check to see if there is earwax or other debris blocking the microphone or the earmold and tubing if you wear behind the ear hearing aids. Cracks, blockages, and moisture can all reduce overall volume.
- Turn up the volume. If you have manual volume controls on your hearing aids, it’s possible that they were accidentally adjusted during the day.
- Consider the possibility that your hearing changed. It might be worth scheduling an appointment with your hearing healthcare professional to see if your hearing has changed so your hearing aids can be adjusted accordingly.
Hearing Aids That Sound Distorted
If your hearing aids have started to sound funny, there may be a simple fix – or your devices may be damaged. Try the following steps to see if you can’t get your hearing aids back to normal:
- Inspect the batteries and the battery contacts (the little metal prongs that connect to the battery). Are the corroded or damaged? This could be causing your hearing aids to create distorted sounds, so you may need to replace the battery or the contacts.
- Check your program settings. You may have inadvertently switched to a different setting which is causing sound to be transmitted in a weird way.
Hearing Aids That Produce Feedback
Feedback is a common occurrence among hearing aid users and can be audible to people around you. Feedback can be caused by a number of different issues, but it’s important to deal with it right away so you can continue listening to the world around you. If you’re experiencing frequent feedback, try these tricks:
- Try reinserting your hearing aids. They may not be properly placed within your ears and may need to be re-fit by a professional.
- Turn down the volume. Sometimes there’s just too much sound leaking out of the earmold or vent in the hearing aid, so you may need to turn the volume down a bit.
- Consider whether your ears have an earwax blockage. Ask your hearing healthcare professional to inspect your ears and remove any earwax which may be increasing the feedback from your devices.