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Common Factors That May Affect Your Hearing Aid's Performance

Disassembled bte hearing aid

Have you ever wondered why your hearing aids sometimes don't work as expected? It can be frustrating, but fear not – there are often simple solutions to these issues. Let's explore some common reasons why your hearing aids might malfunction and what you can do to resolve them.

Moisture is the arch-nemesis of electronics. Even a small amount of moisture finding its way into your hearing aids can wreak havoc. Technically, it's the sodium and chloride ions in water that create unwanted connections within the device. So, if your hearing aids encounter moisture due to heavy sweating, a shower, or a dip in the pool, the first step is to turn them off. Keeping them powered on while wet can lead to damage. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, remember to power them down manually. For those with disposable battery hearing aids, simply open the battery doors. If you remain concerned about moisture damage, consult your hearing care professional, who might have access to an industrial dehydrator to resolve the issue.

If you have disposable battery hearing aids, a common issue might be a depleted battery. Sometimes, it's easy to miss the low battery warning, but changing the battery could solve the problem. Nowadays, most hearing aids are rechargeable, and if you encounter problems, it's often related to the lithium rechargeable battery inside.

While manufacturers claim rechargeable batteries are more durable than disposable ones, issues can still arise.

If your hearing aids don't light up when placed in the charger, it's unlikely both batteries have failed simultaneously. First, carefully clean the charging ports using a cotton swab with alcohol. Ensure you do this cautiously. Sometimes debris can accumulate inside the charger. If that doesn't resolve the issue, try plugging the charger into a different outlet or replace the charging cable if it's removable. If none of these steps work, consult your hearing care professional for a diagnostic test.

If only one hearing aid isn't charging correctly, try placing it in the charging port of the functioning aid. If it remains unresponsive, the issue likely lies with the hearing aid itself. For hearing aids with removable rechargeable batteries, your hearing care professional can swiftly replace them. For those without this feature, the manufacturer may need to perform repairs, but worry not – most high-end hearing aid clinics provide loaner devices during the repair period.

Earwax is the top culprit behind hearing aid malfunctions worldwide. It's a prevalent issue I encounter in my clinic. If your hearing aid is clogged with earwax, it won't function correctly. To address potential earwax problems, start by visually inspecting your hearing aids. Ensure there's no earwax on the microphone cover and that the sound outlet is clear. If you spot earwax, gently clean it off with a soft, dry cloth – avoid using water or liquids. If your hearing aids still don't work after cleaning, check your earmold or dome, depending on your hearing aid style.

Excess earwax in these components can block sound transmission. Carefully remove the earmold or dome and clean it. If you're uncomfortable doing this yourself, consult your hearing care professional to avoid potential damage.

If your hearing aids remain non-functional despite cleaning, deep-seated earwax within your ear canal might be the issue. This requires professional attention. A healthcare provider (ENT) can safely and painlessly remove the earwax from your ear canal using specialized tools and a vacuum cleaner, restoring your hearing aids to working order.

So, if you encounter hearing aid issues, remember to check for these common culprits: moistur, wax, battery, and charger. If none of these apply, reach out to your hearing care professional to schedule an appointment for a thorough assessment of your hearing aids.


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