If you know the difference between an Allen wrench and a Phillips head screwdriver, you might be tempted to tinker with your hearing aids should they stop working properly. While we applaud your DIY mentality, your Lake Charles audiologist doesn’t recommended attempting to repair hearing aids yourself. These are sophisticated instruments with complex internal circuitry and any repairs should be handled by a professional. Having said that, we can offer you a few troubleshooting tips that might save you the cost of a repair bill.
Routine Maintenance for Your Hearing Aids
There’s no denying that hearing aids are a major investment. For those with hearing loss, it’s money well spent; hearing aids help the majority of people with impaired hearing communicate more effectively and enjoy a better quality of life. While they are designed to last for a long time – 5-7 years is typical – hearing aids are exposed to harsh conditions on a daily basis. Heat, moisture, earwax and dirt all take their toll, making it likely that at some point you’ll encounter a situation where they no longer perform as optimally as before. Routine maintenance will go a long way toward extending the life of your hearing aids.
The best preventive strategy involves a little elbow grease. You’ll want to clean your hearing aids every day using a soft, dry cloth. Avoid water, solvents, cleaning fluids and alcohol, because moisture causes damage. Your Lake Charles audiologist can provide you with a multi-tool, a handy gadget that can help you clean those hard-to-reach places. It includes a wire loop, magnet and brush, and is useful for removing wax and dirt from nooks and crannies. Even your best efforts won’t yield perfect results, so we recommend you schedule a clean-and-check appointment with your audiologist in Louisiana at least once a year.
Hearing Aid Troubleshooting Tips
Keeping your hearing aids clean will help, but occasionally you’ll still encounter problems. Some of the more common ones – and solutions you can try at home for resolving them – include:
- Feedback/whistling. If you experience a high-pitched whining when inserting your hearing aids, you might have put them in wrong. Try taking them out and reinserting. If this doesn’t do the trick, earwax might be clogging the ports. Clean them thoroughly and see if that helps.
- Distortion/muffled sound. If the sound coming through your hearing aids is distorted or unclear, your battery or contacts might be dirty or corroded. Often, simply opening and closing the battery compartment door resolves the problem. If not, try cleaning the battery surfaces and/or replacing the battery. Also, make sure you haven’t inadvertently turned on your hearing aids’ telecoil (T-coil) mode.
- No sound. We hate to sound like Captain Obvious here, but please make sure your battery hasn’t died. If not, check to see if the microphone or a sound outlet is clogged, and try changing the wax filter.
Many times, these simple steps will clear up your problem. If not, you’re going to have to break down and contact your Lake Charles audiologist. The cost of repairs depends on the exact nature of the problem, parts and labor and whether or not they are still covered under warranty.