If you have difficulty hearing and have taken the wise step to acquire hearing aids, one important job is to maintain them and be alert for problems that you may be able to solve at home. The longer you use hearing aids, the easier it is to realize just how important they are and how critical it is to keep them working at their best. If the sound quality isn’t as clear and consistent as it used to be, a wide variety of conditions could be causing it. Quickly troubleshooting the problem could save you having to deal with repair or replacement.

First Steps

No matter what the issue may be, a good visual inspection of your hearing devices is an important step to take on a regular basis.  Even if a buildup of wax or debris has not blocked a microphone or sound outlet port yet, regularly cleaning and catching it before it does will ensure that there will not be an interruption of service when hearing aids are needed the most. Look for fraying in any connection wires, or cracks in tubing or custom shells. If replaceable batteries are used, look for corrosion or foreign material in the battery compartment that may interfere with a good connection.

No Sound

If you’re not getting any sound from your hearing aids, start with looking at the outlet ports. Wax could be blocking the microphone or sound outlets, preventing sound from traveling. A careful cleaning could be the only fix you need. If cleaning doesn’t work, make sure the battery is in properly, and the door is fully closed, the hearing aid is turned on, and the volume is turned up. Check that any remote controls from a phone App or separate device are set properly. Finally, try changing/recharging the batteries, even if you consider the current ones to be OK. With rechargeable battery devices, check the charger connections and indicator lights to be sure the aids are connecting properly.

Distorted Sound or Whistling

Poor sound quality can be a result of weak battery power. Inspect the battery housing itself to see if the prongs are corroded. Try replacing the batteries to see if that helps with distorted sound. For hearing aids that whistle, try turning down the sound slightly or removing and reinsert them into your ears. If they’re not positioned properly, many hearing aids will make a whistling sound. A buildup of wax in the ear canal can reflect amplified sound back out of the ear and cause whistling feedback. Have your ears checked by your hearing specialist or physician if you suspect a problem with wax.

Low Volume

If you feel like your hearing aids just aren’t loud enough, first check to make sure the sound outlet isn’t blocked with ear wax. If your hearing aids are made with an earmold and tubing, check for cracks or blockages. If the hearing aids are physically sound, try turning up the volume or trying a different program. You might also consider having your hearing checked, as hearing can change over time.

If all your troubleshooting efforts haven’t produced the results you want, it’s time to check with the professionals. Contact us for a consultation. They’ll do a thorough inspection of your hearing aids and make any necessary repairs, including replacing tubes and tips and doing a thorough internal cleaning.