Trouble hearing? Here’s how to know if your hearing aids need repair.
You take care of your hearing aids. You baby them. Cleaning them every day, you make sure they are snug on their charger when you go to sleep.
That’s why it’s so frustrating that, suddenly and distressingly, your hearing aids are no longer working the way they should. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem. Just remember: your number one job is to avoid damaging your hearing aid further (or you might have to replace them).
Troubleshooting your hearing aid
Always consult with your owner’s manual when performing maintenance and troubleshooting, as every model of hearing aid can be somewhat different. Here are some things you can check on most models:
- Wax buildup: Perform a visual inspection of your hearing aid to ensure that there is no wax buildup interfering with standard operation. Even if you perform regular cleaning, sometimes wax can accumulate quickly, so it’s worth ticking this off your list.
- Look for visible damage: Check to see if there are any visible cracks or loose components around the shell of your hearing aid. Cracks, obviously, could indicate more significant damage (or allow in moisture).
- Check your battery: Even if you know your hearing aids spent the night on the charger, you’ll want to double-check the battery power. If your hearing aid has replaceable batteries, it might not be a bad idea to check if those batteries are inserted properly or if a new one solves the problem.
- Keep your microphone clear: Check for anything obstructing the microphone of your hearing aid. An obstructed microphone can create feedback or can cause your hearing aids to sound broken or silent.
Again, consult your owner’s manual on how you might approach each of these issues. In some cases, you may be able to perform maintenance yourself. (But, again, read the instructions.)
When does my hearing aid need repair?
If your hearing aid continues to malfunction after you have performed basic maintenance and troubleshooting, it’s likely that your hearing aid will need to be professionally repaired. That may not always sound appealing–after all, you rely on your hearing aid for daily communication (not to mention dinners with your family, keeping up to date with your favorite Netflix series, and so on).
However, it’s worth noting that “repair” doesn’t always translate into “mail your hearing aids in for service and wait several weeks.” Some hearing specialists or hearing aid manufacturers will offer a “Repair While You Wait” service.
That means, in some cases, you’ll be able to bring your hearing aids in for professional help and have them back in a matter of minutes or hours (this, of course, depends on the extent of the damage–all the more reason to bring your devices in for repair as soon as possible).
There are still some cases where such rapid repair is not possible. And in those cases, you might find yourself in need of a backup pair of hearing aids. So if you’ve got an old pair lying around, ask your hearing specialist whether they will serve on a temporary basis. Some will even loan you a pair while you are waiting.
Don’t wait to get help for your hearing aids
If the hearing aids are starting to fade, the audio quality is beginning to falter, it’s essential to get it repaired.
That’s because you want to avoid any downtime. Untreated hearing loss can affect your overall health, including your mental health. More to the point, once your hearing aids are forgotten in a box somewhere, it’s all too easy to pretend they don’t exist–all the while, your hearing grows worse and worse.
The best way to keep your hearing healthy is to keep those hearing aids working. And the best way to do that is to keep them clean, keep them charged, and, when necessary, take your hearing aids to get some professional help.