For such tiny devices, hearing aids provide a big improvement in your quality of life. As dependable as they are, sometimes problems arise. Many times, simple at-home repairs can solve the issue. Here are some common problems to troubleshoot to avoid hearing aid repairs.

Your hearing aids are dead

When you think of battery life, you might imagine the commercial with that pink bunny with a drum that “keeps going and going…” but that’s not the case with hearing aid batteries. Many people are disappointed by what seems to be a very short life for these batteries – usually three to ten days. If it appears that your hearing aids have stopped working, the first step is to replace the batteries.

If changing the battery doesn’t fix the problem, check to make sure the battery is properly inserted.

To prevent battery drainage, always open the battery case at night after you remove your hearing aids. Hearing aid batteries should have a shelf-life of up to a year if kept in a cool, dry place. Do not remove the pull tab on the battery until it’s ready for use.

You can’t hear anything

If the batteries aren’t dead, the volume may be turned down. Sometimes volume controls can be accidentally changed or become dirty. Brushing away any debris from around the volume controls may fix the problem.

If you hear static or inconsistent sound, the volume controls may be corroded. You might be able to fix the problem by rotating the volume control knobs up and down at least two dozen times. If it doesn’t work, your audiologist may recommend factory repair.

Another concern is earwax, which can clog your hearing aids. Daily cleaning is necessary and includes wiping the hearing aids with a dry cloth and using a brush to remove any wax from the microphone inlet and sound tip. You also may have picks or loops to help remove any wax build-up. A cleaning in the morning allows any accumulated wax to dry overnight so it’s easier to brush away.

It’s also a good idea to safely clean your ears daily to reduce earwax.

Your hearing aids got wet

Moisture is the number one cause of hearing aid repairs. Never shower, bathe, or swim with your hearing aids. Perspiration also can be a problem for some people. A hearing aid dehumidifier helps to keep the units dry.

Also, open the battery door at night. This not only reduces battery drain, but allows any moisture picked up during the day to evaporate.

If any of these troubleshooting measures fail to help, it may be time to see your audiologist to determine if repairs can be made at the office or if the hearing aids will be sent to the manufacturer for repair. Your hearing aids may be under warranty, which will help with cost. Hopefully, daily care and cleaning will prevent any major problems in the future.