Troubleshooting Your Hearing Aids– Try these tips before bringing them in.

On any given day, we have probably 5-10 people come into our office with a hearing aid that isn’t working. Probably at least 7 of those issues are very easily resolved and don’t really require a trip to our office — if they knew what to look for.  Here are some simple steps you can try at home before bringing the aid into our office.  (Now don’t get us wrong, we LOVE to see you and are ALWAYS willing to help!  However, we realize that your time is very valuable and you probably have better things to do!)

Your Hearing Aid is “Dead”

  1. Make sure your hearing aid is on.  Most of the hearing aids we fit don’t have an on and off switch, but some do, so check that first.
  2. Check the battery.  You would be surprised how many times people come into our office with batteries upside down or even with the sticker on them!
  3. Make sure that the battery door is closed completely.  The power connection won’t work unless the door is closed.
  4. Check for a blockage.  This is the problem at least half of the time.  If you have in-the-ear hearing aids, check the part that goes into your ear.  If there appears to be a lot of wax, get a toothbrush and vigorously brush to remove it.  If you have a behind-the-ear hearing aid, you also want to check the part that goes into your ear and brush out any wax that may be blocking the sound from coming out.  You’d be surprised how a bit of earwax can stop the sound from getting into your ear.  (Note:  we don’t recommend using that same toothbrush on your teeth after using it to brush off earwax.)
  5. If none of these things fixes the problem, bring it into our office.

Your Hearing Aid Sounds “Weak”

  1. Replace the battery.  Occasionally we see some batteries that aren’t putting out the power that they should be.
  2. Check for wax (see above).
  3. Check the tubing. If you have a behind-the-ear hearing aid with a tube that goes into an ear mold, there may be a crack or moisture in the tube.
  4. If none of these things fixes the problem, bring it on in.

Your Hearing Aid is Whistling

  1. Take the aid out and re-insert it.  Occasionally people will put an in-the-ear aid in upside down or put in a behind-the-ear aid with an ear mold in upside down.  An incorrect placement will cause feedback and hence whistling.
  2. Replace the battery, especially if it’s been in for a few days.  Sometimes a weak battery will cause the aid to whistle.
  3. Check the volume.  If you have a volume-control, sometimes you can turn the aid up too high which can cause whistling.
  4. If none of these things fixes the problem, bring it in.

Your Hearing Aid Sounds Funny

  1. Check the volume.  Most hearing aids fit in the last few years won’t let you turn them up too high or too low, but it’s always a good idea to check.
  2. Replace the battery.  Unfortunately batteries vary from manufacturer and even from batch to batch.  Sometimes a new battery fixes the problem.
  3. If neither of these things fixes the problem, bring it in.

Your Hearing Aid Is Going Through Batteries Very Quickly

  1. Make sure that you are opening the battery door when you take it off at night.  You will almost double the life of the battery by turning it off while sleeping.
  2. Try a battery from a different package.  Like we said before, sometimes a package of batteries can be faulty.
  3. If neither of these things fixes the problem, bring it in.

We are always happy to see our patients and we want you to feel comfortable in bringing in your hearing aids if you have any questions or problems at all.  However, sometimes a simple fix can save you from an unnecessary trip– and our goal is always to make better hearing as effortless as possible!  If you have any questions or concerns or want to meet with one of our audiologists, please give us a call at 801-770-0801.

* Thanks to actionhearingloss.org for the material!

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