Hearing Aid Troubleshooting
For those afflicted by hearing loss, it’s no hyperbole to say that a hearing aid is a life-changing device. Hearing loss can drive a wedge between other people with the condition and those around them. Over time this can lead to them feeling withdrawn, isolated and depressed. A hearing aid is not a tiny miracle box that cures hearing loss, but it is a highly sophisticated device that empowers those with hearing loss and helps them to take control of their lives once again. As such, like any technology, it is subject to issues, teething problems and minor lapses in function.
In some cases, this can only be repaired by a trained professional, but in many cases, those with hearing aids can remedy issues themselves. Here we’ll look at some common problems faced by those with hearing aids and how users can quickly and easily determine the cause and administer a practical solution to get your hearing aid back up and running again. If your hearing aid appears not to be functioning correctly, try using some of these troubleshooting techniques.
Problem: Sound is quiet or distorted
Many who are new to hearing aids find that the sound of a new hearing aid takes some getting used to. Everything (especially their own voices) sounds markedly louder. As our brains get more and more used to working in tandem with our hearing aids, we can come to take them for granted. It’s only when we turn them off that we notice the difference. Nonetheless, if the sound coming from your hearing aid is quieter than you remember or distorted in any way (no matter the volume setting), these solutions may help:
- Check for moisture in the system: This is a common cause of distorted sound or reduced volume. The good news is that hearing aids are designed to be fairly moisture resistant. Place your hearing aid in a room with a dehumidifier overnight wrap it in a warm, dry towel and leave it to dry overnight.
- Check your program settings: If your hearing aid was calibrated with a range of programs make sure that it isn’t set for a program intended for busy or noisy environments.
- Check the controls: Dust or lint can accumulate in the controls. Switch or rotate them or clear out any debris with a cotton swab.
- Check for wax: Wax, dirt, dust and debris can block the microphone or tube. Clean the device and remove any obstructions like these.
- Check the battery: Check the battery or contacts to make sure they’re not damaged or corroded or damaged. Replace damaged or corroded batteries.
- Talk to your audiologist: If none of the above work, your hearing needs may have changed. It may be worth talking to your audiologist about this.
Problem: DIstorted sound
If you notice a conspicuous cut off or inconsistent sound, try the following checks.
- Check for wax: Wax, dirt or debris in the microphone, tube or earpiece can cause inconsistencies in sound. Clean it out and try again
- Reset your controls: Your hearing aid may be on the wrong program or lint may have collected in the controls. Give them a check and reset them.
- Change the battery: Low voltage can also cause deterioration in function. Change the battery and see if that helps.
Problem: Whistling or feedback
All hearing aid owners know the whistling and feedback that can come from hearing aids. Usually, this goes away after a second but if it persists, try the following:
- Remove and reinsert: Your hearing aid may have become misaligned or improperly placed. Make sure you don’t turn your head before the hearing aid is secured, or it might exacerbate the problem.
- Check the tubing and dome: The domes that secure our hearing aids can wear and tear. Try replacing it with a dome of a different size. Likewise, cracks or damage in the tubing can also contribute to feedback.
- Talk to your audiologist: If the problem persists, you may have a blockage of excess or hardened earwax in your ear canal. Your audiologist will be able to inspect and clean your ears.
Problem: No sound at all
Sometimes you may experience a complete loss of sound when you wear your hearing aid. Don’t panic, simply try the following:
- Make sure it’s turned on: Seriously. It’s easy to knock hearing aids on and off. While you’re at it, check that the volume is set to your preferred setting.
- Check the battery: The battery may have worn out overnight. You won’t be the first to leave your hearing aid switched on overnight. Try changing or replacing it.
- Check the tube and microphone: Wax or dirt can block the tubes and microphone. Clean these out, and you may well find that your hearing aid is restored to full power.
When to contact an audiologist
Do not attempt to repair your hearing aid yourself. This is a highly sophisticated digital device and attempting to fix it yourself can do more harm than good. Talk to an experienced and trusted audiologist. If you’re having issues with your hearing aid give us the Brentwood Hearing Center a call today on (615) 377-0420. We’ll be happy to get your hearing aid up and running again!