A hearing aid is a sensitive, micro-electronic device that is worn inside the body. Most patients wear their hearing aids for at least 14-16 hours a day. These devices are exposed to a significant amount of moisture and earwax throughout the day. A build-up of wax from your ear can get pushed into the hearing aid, and cause it not to function properly. Many problems that hearing aid owners experience can be corrected by simply cleaning the hearing aid. Routine maintenance and cleaning can keep your hearing aid working correctly and prolong the life of the device.
Having problems with your hearing aid? Try these steps first:
1. Check the battery. If your hearing aid is rechargeable, make sure the aid is inserted into the charging base correctly. You should see a light indicator activate when it is inserted properly. Ensure that the hearing aid has a full charge. For hearing aids with disposable batteries, try changing the battery once (use one more from a different package if you have one). If changing or charging the battery doesn't work, move on to step 2.
2. Clean the earmold, dome or receiver opening. When a hearing aid sounds weak, the piece that goes into your ear canal may be clogged with wax. Try to clean this out with the tools which were given to you at the time of your purchase. Pre-moistened non-alcohol pads are good for removing wax and oils, and the brushes and picks provided at the time of purchase can provide a more in-depth cleaning.
3. Change the wax guard. Most new hearing aids have a wax guard over the receiver (where the sound goes into your ear). If you were given replacement guards, change them. If you were not, we are happy to provide this service in our office. If you run out of wax guards, feel free to request additional packages.
4. If your problem is squealing or feedback, make sure that the hearing aid is properly inserted into your ear canal. If you have already tried cleaning the hearing aid and it is still squealing, call to schedule an appointment with us. Typically, earwax in the ear canal or in the hearing aid is the cause of this feedback. Most of the time, we can remove earwax in our office.
Rechargeable Hearing Aid Troubleshooting:
If a Phonak rechargeable hearing aid stops working, press and hold the volume button for a full 15 seconds, then place the hearing aid on the charger for a full minute.
Invest in a hearing aid dehumidifier. This product will remove the moisture that accumulates in your hearing aids from perspiration and humidity. Batteries must be removed from your hearing aids before the aids are stored in the dehumidifier. Over time, the dehumidifiers can be recharged in the microwave or oven and last for several years. These dehumidifiers don’t cost much, but can add years of useful life to your hearing aids. They will also reduce the need for repairs since corrosion related to moisture is a common reason that hearing aids are sent to the manufacturer for repair.