How to Troubleshoot Your Hearing Aids

How to Troubleshoot Your Hearing Aids

Troubleshooting Hearing Aids

We are all busy people. Who has the time to drive back and forth to their San Diego audiologist’s office whenever the slightest thing goes wrong with their hearing aid? Before you sit in San Diego traffic, try the following techniques for a quick fix.

If there is no sound:

  • Make sure the battery is inserted correctly.
  • Replace the battery if you suspect it is dead or weak.
  • Remove excess earwax from earmold or replace wax guard.
  • Check tubing for wax buildup or moisture; clean with blower tool.
  • Make sure hearing aid isn’t accidentally set to telecoil mode.

If you are experiencing feedback or whistling:

  • Remove and reinsert your hearing aids.
  • Turn down the volume.
  • Make sure there is nothing blocking or covering your hearing aids.

If the sound is weak or distorted:

  • The battery may be dead or weak; replace it.
  • Open the battery compartment and clean the contacts with a dry cloth.
  • Clean the earmold or tubing with wax removal tools; replace wax guard.

Professional Hearing Aid Repairs

Unfortunately, sometimes your hearing aid may need to be professionally repaired. Like anything you own, you will never know the extent of the repair needed until you take it in (think of your San Diego audiologist as your hearing aid mechanic).

If your hearing aids are still under warranty, repair costs will be nominal or free. If the warranty has expired, your San Diego audiologist will need to assess the level of damage before providing you with an estimate.

Much like you cannot simply drive your totaled car, a hearing aid that needs to be repaired cannot provide with you the level of hearing assistance that you need. If you are in need of a hearing aid repair, don’t wait. The sooner the problem is fixed the quicker you can return to your life.

The Why and How of Hearing Aid Maintenance

There is no getting around it, hearing aids are expensive. Like any pricey purchase, you want them to last as long as possible. Do you have the oil in your car changed regularly? Do you keep your house clean? Do you wash your favorite shirt right after you dribble wine on it? Of course you do. You paid good money for your car, house and clothing; you want them to have the longest life possible. Why not your hearing aid?

hearing aid maintenance

While the process may have been stressful, walking out of the audiology office with the best hearing aids in San Diego in your ears makes you feel good. You can hear things you forgot made noise, like the hum of the fridge or the ticking of a clock. Now that you know what you were missing all those years you put off seeking treatment, you can’t go back. To ensure your hearing aids are working to the best of their ability, it is important to keep up with daily maintenance.

 

Cleaning the hearing aid

Properly cleaning your hearing aid removes any buildup of earwax, dirt or grime. The hearing aid itself should be cleaned with a soft, dry cloth. The earmold (the part that goes into the ear canal) should be removed and cleaned with a mild soap solution. Before you reattach the earmold to the device, make sure it is completely dry.

 

Checking the batteries

Hearing aid batteries are not like the regular, mercury ones you are familiar with. Instead of slowly draining over time, the zinc batteries used in your hearing aid can go from full power to dead in an instant. The only way to tell if your hearing aid batteries will make it through the day is to use a battery tester every morning. You should always keep extra batteries with you, just in case.

 

Removing moisture

Your hearing aid spends most of its life inside your ear; just imagine how much moisture becomes trapped inside. A hearing aid drying container or a dehumidifier should be used to remove the excess moisture. Make sure you take the battery out of the hearing aid before you place it in the container overnight.

 

Does this seem like a lot? What if I told you that performing these daily tasks can help prevent costly hearing aid repairs down the line and even extend the life of your devices? If you would like more tips on how to protect your hearing aid, contact your San Diego audiologist.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Hearing Aid Repair

Hearing aids consist of many small, technologically advanced parts. As a result, the occasional malfunction is commonplace. Should your hearing aid need servicing, take the following do’s and don’ts into consideration.

The Don’ts of Hearing Aid Repair :

Don’t Do It Yourself (DIY)

Hearing aids may appear to be a straightforward piece of technology; however, each device is made up of many small interconnected pieces. Messing around one part of the hearing aid may lead to a more serious problem with another part. As a result, it’s better to leave the fixing to the professionals.

Don’t Stop wearing them

If your hearing aid stops working, don’t set it aside for a long period of time. Using hearing aids helps to prevent unwanted complications from untreated hearing loss, so it is important to use them regularly.

The Do’s of Hearing Aid Repair:

Change the battery

If your hearing aid has stopped working or sounds weak and distorted, the battery may be to blame. The zinc batteries used in hearing aids act differently than the mercury batteries we are all used to. Typically, they only last five to seven days, depending on the size and style of your hearing aid, degree of hearing loss and the amount of time your hearing aids are used.

Clean the device

It is important to properly clean your hearing aid every day. This involves removing any buildup of earwax, dirt or grime. The hearing aid itself should be cleaned with a soft, dry cloth. The earmold (the part that goes into the ear canal) should be removed and cleaned with a mild soap solution. Make sure the earmold is completely dry before reattaching it to the device.

Visit your audiologist

When something stops working in your device, take it straight to your audiologist. Depending on the extent of the issue, your audiologist may be able to repair your device in the office. Many audiology professionals cover the cost of these repairs under the price of your hearing aid, so you might save money in the long run.

Consider buying a new device

At a certain point, keeping an old pair of hearing aids can be similar to owning an old car—the cost of upkeep may be higher than the cost purchasing something new. If your hearing aid is older than four years of age and is requiring regular maintenance, it might be time to look for a new device.

Inquire about warranties. Once your original hearing aid warranty expires, you may want to ask your audiologists about an extended warranty. This will help cover the future costs of repairs and fittings.

To find a provider specializing in hearing aid repair in San Diego, CA, we encourage you to contact our team at (858) 279-3277.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

When to Repair or Replace Your Hearing Aids

hearing aids in san diego

As audiology professionals, we are often asked whether it is better to repair or replace a hearing device. The truth is, both hearing aid repair and purchasing new technology have their benefits and the correct answer is largely dependent on the patient. At San Diego Hearing Center, we take each individual’s needs into consideration when addressing their hearing health needs. In order to help you make an educated decision, we’ve included the case for both hearing aid maintenance and replacement.

The Case for Maintenance

Your satisfication should be a major factor in your decision to service or replace your devices. Many individuals who choose to continuing using their current devices do so because they are accustomed to the sound experience those devices provide. Newer digital technologies may provide a completely different sound than what you are familiar with.

Hearing aids ranging from five to seven years old are typically able to be serviced by your audiology professional should any problems occur. If you’re devices do not require frequent repair or maintenance, it may be more cost effective to stay with your current hearing aids. Your local audiologist may be able to perform your hearing aid repairs during a quick consultation. This is more time effective than sending your devices to manufacture for repairs and is easier than starting over with a new device.

The Case for New Technology

hearing aid techonology san diego

Hearing devices have changed significantly in the past several years, and you may find that newer technology could better integrate into your lifestyle. Features such as Bluetooth capability and improved environmental recognition make wearing a hearing device a more seamless experience.

If your device is in need to constant repair or regularly requires new parts, it may actually be more economical to go with a new device. Many audiology professionals include follow-up appointments and repairs in the cost of a new device.

You may also consider purchasing a new device if your lifestyle or health needs are different than when you got your last device. For example, the onset of tinnitus or arthritis might be better accommodated by a different style of hearing aid.

Ultimately, the decision of changing or repairing your hearing devices is yours to make. We recommend discussing your options with a trusted audiologist. If you’re considering hearing aid repair, San Diego Hearing Center can help. One of our hearing health experts can evaluate your current devices, provide a quote for repairs and allow you to try the latest options in hearing technology. To learn more, call our team at our Hillcrest office at (619) 298-8546 or in Clairemont at (858) 279-3277!