The quality of hearing aids is better than ever; today’s devices are built to provide many years of reliable service. But even the most durable equipment is subject to occasional problems when exposed to a hostile environment. Hearing aids encounter moisture, heat, dirt and earwax on a daily basis, all of which can cause problems for their sophisticated electronic components. Cleaning them on a regular basis can prevent many of these issues and help prolong their life. They should be cleaned with a soft cloth daily; care should be taken to avoid moisture, including water, cleaning solvents, and alcohol. In addition, take them to your audiologist for periodic “clean and check” appointments to ensure they are working optimally.
In spite of these efforts, you might experience an occasional problem. Before taking your hearing aids in for repair, there are troubleshooting tips you should try to see if you can get them working normally again. Sometimes, a quick fix is all it takes!
The following should help you exhaust all options before making a repair appointment.
- If you are experiencing feedback or whistling when your hearing aids are inserted, there may be excess earwax in your canals. Have your doctor check your ears and remove any accumulated wax. Alternatively, your devices could be inserted improperly. Take them out and put them back in again.
- If there is no sound coming from your hearing aids, this might be the result of a dead battery, clogged microphone or clogged sound outlet. Try replacing the battery first. If this doesn’t help, clean the sound outlet or microphone with a brush, and/or change the wax filter.
- If you are experiencing distorted or unclear sound, your battery or battery contact points might be corroded. Clean the battery surfaces using a dry cloth, open and shut the battery compartment, and replace the battery. If these don’t do the trick, make sure your hearing aids haven’t accidentally been switched to telecoil mode. If so, switch back to the microphone setting.
If these tips don’t fix the problem, you’ll have to contact a professional who is experienced with hearing aid repairs. A great place to start is with your audiologist. How much the repairs cost depends on the age of your hearing aids, extent of the problem and price of replacement parts. Your hearing aids may be under warranty, which helps. At some point, it will become more cost effective to replace your hearing aids rather than paying what might be a costly repair bill. This is especially true if your devices are more than five years old, are visibly damaged, or have already undergone repair work in the past.