Hearing aids are tiny marvels of technology. Despite their small size, they contain many sophisticated parts and perform many advanced functions every second. If you think your hearing aids need repair, try these steps before calling your hearing care professional.
Solve Common Hearing Aid Problems
This detailed troubleshooting guide can help you. It may also be helpful to review the different parts of a hearing aid, so that you know the terminology. If your hearing aid is still not functioning properly, the following steps can be taken before calling a hearing care professional:
- Make sure the hearing aid is switched on: It sounds simple, but check anyway, especially if you are still getting used to wearing and using your hearing aids.
- Increase the volume: Make sure the volume control is at the correct level and that it has not been accidentally lowered or changed.
- Check the battery: If you have disposable batteries, make sure your batteries are properly seated in the hearing aids. Test your batteries or try new ones to make sure the batteries aren’t the problem.
- If the model is behind the ear (behind the ear), inspect the tubing: BTE tubing can sometimes become damaged or worn out over time. If the hearing aid tube shows signs of wear or breakage, your hearing care professional can repair it quickly and easily in their office.
If the batteries in your hearing aids don’t last very long, this may indicate that you need service.
When to get more help with a repair
Despite your best and most diligent efforts, all hearing aids are likely to need service at some point. Here’s when to see your hearing care professional:
- You tried to troubleshoot and your hearing aids are still not working properly.
- Excessive feedback or hissing may signal an improper physical fit with a personalized hearing aid or behind-the-ear tip. Even if your aids are properly adjusted to begin with, the ears can change in size and shape over time, especially if you’ve been sick or your weight has changed significantly.
- If any of your hearing aids have been irreversibly damaged, the case is cracked or there are visible holes anywhere on the shell or faceplate.
Your hearing care professional may be able to perform some repairs “in-house”, so that you can avoid having to go without your hearing aids for several days. Sometimes that’s just not possible. They can tell you how long it will take to get the help repaired by the manufacturer and if there are any costs associated with it if your aids are not under warranty.
How do I get my hearing aids repaired?
Avoid the need for repairs: keep your hearing aid clean
Because hearing aids are such a compact device, it can be easy for earwax and other debris to get stuck in tiny holes and spaces. To avoid excessive build-up due to clogging of the microphone and sound ports, it is important to clean the device daily with a clean, dry cloth or cloth.
It is common for earwax to get stuck in the small ports of a hearing aid, which can cause temporary static sounds or returns during use.
Also, keep your ears clean
In addition to keeping the hearing aids themselves clean, it is important that you also keep your ears clean. Keeping devices and ears free of debris can reduce the need for frequent hearing aid repairs. Earwax is a completely natural and necessary secretion from the ears, but it can cause problems if it gets lodged in the ports or crevices of hearing aids. To minimize earwax, clean the ears daily with a washcloth.
If you think your earwax amount is outside the normal range or your hearing aids are regularly blocked, contact your hearing care professional for further advice or options.
Keep in mind that it is not safe to insert cotton swabs or anything sharp into your ears to clean them. Using these items could push earwax deeper into the ear or puncture the eardrum.
Finally, keep hearing aids dry
Prolonged exposure to moisture is the leading cause of hearing aid repair. Most people don’t realize how much hearing aids can accumulate with everyday use. At night, open the battery compartment and remove the batteries to allow the helpers to ventilate. If you live in an area with high humidity, are athletic, or sweat a lot, it may be a good idea to invest in a hearing aid sleeve or sweatband.
Another tool to help keep devices dry is a hearing aid dehumidifier. These inexpensive devices can help keep humidity to a minimum and can potentially extend the life of hearing aids.
Wash and shower before putting on hearing aids for the day. Use care when applying hair and face products as they can build up on and inside hearing aids. Take out your hearing aids when swimming or participating in water activities.
Have you tried everything you can and nothing works? It might be time to buy new hearing aids. After all, hearing aids are only meant to be worn for 3 to 7 years. They put up with a lot of wear and tear and the technology is improving all the time. Here are some other signs that you may need new hearing aids.
If you currently wear hearing aids and need to find a professional to help you with a repair, use our extensive consumer directory to find a hearing care professional in your area.