Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Man and his wife using tips to fix his hearing aids.

When technology quits working properly, that’s when we usually notice it most. That’s particularly true with hearing aids: To the majority of people who use them, hearing aids are more than just a piece of technology; they’re a crucial lifeline to the rest of society.

So finding solutions for a malfunctioning hearing aid, and discovering those solutions as quickly as possible, is important for both physiological and emotional reasons. Whether you’ve been wearing your hearing aids for a week, a year, or a decade, troubleshooting can be a high-stakes, frustrating process. But if you want to get your hearing aid working correctly again there are some simple steps you can take.

Before Trouble Occurs Take Protective Measures

Any advanced piece of technology involves upkeep, and hearing aids are no exception. Although the casing might look simple and robust, the electronics inside can be incredibly sophisticated.

Which means maintenance is essential. While you’re using your hearing aids, there are some things you can do that will make taking care of them simpler.

Keep Your Hearing Aids Clean

Every day, a certain amount of wax is naturally and normally generated by your ears. And, the ear wax is, to a certain extent good for your ears. But it’s not so good for your hearing aids. Keeping your hearing aids clean and clear of wax can help improve the life of the devices. In fact, a built-in wax filter comes with most hearing aids that should also be cleaned periodically.

Keep Your Hearing Aids Dry

Electronics and moisture don’t mix. And despite the best protection technology can produce, repeated subjection to moisture can gradually wear out the internal electronics of your hearing aids, compromising their performance.

This Means wearing your hearing aids in the shower or while swimming is a bad idea. Also, towel dry your hearing aids if they get wet. Don’t use a hair dryer because it can damage them.

Schedule Time With Professional Cleaners

Hearing aids are sensitive (and commonly expensive) technology, and as such, they require specialized cleaning procedures. Even if you’re fairly rigorous about your own cleaning routines, there are just some things that can be better accomplished by a specialized cleaner.

That’s why it’s recommended you take your hearing aids in to be cleaned every 4-6 months.

How to Troubleshoot Existing Problems

Even if your hearing aids are presently working, you will still be required to take protective steps. But if you’re experiencing issues, if your hearing aids aren’t working properly anymore, you’re most likely more interested in some quick fixes.

Try one of the following steps if your hearing aids aren’t working properly:

  • Check your hearing aid for debris or wax accumulate. If you discover any wax buildup or debris, clean them away.
  • Replace your power source or battery, even if your batteries are rechargeable.
  • Cycle the device power (turn it off and turn it back on). This will fix the problem in certain cases.
  • Adjust the volume. This can be done via a remote or manually with the wheel on the hearing aid. Try to do both if you have the option with your hearing aid.
  • Check your own ears. It’s possible that earwax accumulation in your ear canal is interfering with the sound from your hearing aid.
  • Inspect your hearing aids for blemishes, cracks or other obvious signs of damage. Such damage could mean the hearing aid needs repairs.
  • Switch between programs or change the settings. Most hearing aids are different in this respect, so your plan of action will depend on the model you have.
  • Check for corrosion or loose wiring inside the battery compartment. Any substantial damage will need to be repaired by a professional but you can try cleaning away any corrosion you discover.

It’s likely that you will need to have the device fixed by a professional if you want it back to original performance if none of these options work.

What if Nothing I Try Works?

When your hearing aids aren’t functioning properly anymore and troubleshooting has not resolved the issue, you will likely have two options: either send the hearing aids in for repair or buy a new pair of hearing aids. The age of your hearing aids, your personal situation, and other variables will determine which option will work best for you.

If your hearing aids aren’t working properly right now, take the time to try some troubleshooting. A discussion with your hearing professional to determine a solution is the next step if that doesn’t work. To find a solution schedule an appointment right away.

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