How to Care For And Troubleshoot Your Hearing Aids
How to Care For And Troubleshoot Your Hearing Aids
It's very easy to care for your hearing aids. Proper care for your hearing aids can help them last longer and lower the necessities for hearing aid repairs.
Basics of Hearing Aid Care
Movable Parts of Your Hearing Aids
The battery doors of your hearing aids are used everyday. When you're not using your hearing aids, you should open the battery doors. Because of the oils on your skin dirt and grime can build up around the edges of the battery doors. Use the brush provided by your hearing aid specialist to clean around the edges of the battery doors.
The volume controls of your hearing aids are used even more than your battery doors. The same problem exists with the oils on skin causing a build up of dirt and grime. This dirt and grime not only gets on top of the volume control, it also gets underneath the volume wheel eventually causing the volume control to fail. This can be stopped once again by using the brush your hearing aid specialist provided for you. Be sure to clean underneath the volume wheel as much as possible with the brush. The volume wheel should turn as you clean it so brush both clockwise and counter-clockwise.
Some hearing aids have telephone switches and very old hearing aids may have noise reduction switches (which were pretty useless thus only old hearing aid have them). The same situation applies here about oil from the skin and grime getting on the switch. Again use your brush to clean the hearing aids with the switch in both positions.
If one of your hearing aids is making a buzzing sound and you cannot hear any amplification, check the telephone switch and make sure it's not toggled to telephone.
More memory buttons are found on hearing aids now as opposed to toggle switches. Some hearing aids can use up to five memories for various environments. I never cared for these options as many patients were confused by them. Most patients also selected one memory they thought sounded good and stuck with that one memory. Multi-memory hearing aids slow down actual adjustment of proper amplification of sound and speech via hearing aids. How would you like it if your 'normal' hearing sounded different to you even one out of two times in the same noise environment. Be difficult to get used to wouldn't it?
But, this is about care. So use your brush on the memory button as well once again due to the oils on your skin and grime forming on the memory button eventually working its way into the circuitry. Memory buttons don't go bad as often as toggle switches due, but it does happen and with proper care some of these repairs can be avoided.
Moisture can affect any electronic device. Imagine storing your television in an environment of salt water and ear wax and expecting it to function perfectly without any professional care. That's the same environment your hearing aids are in up to 16 hours a day. A moisture guard box in which the hearing aids are stored over night will help cut problems due to moisture.
If either of your hearing aids is intermittent, in other words shuts off and turns on on its own and the problem seems to repair itself when you let it sit out of your ear for a period of time, only to shut down again after being in your ear, this can be a moisture problem.
DO NOT put your hearing aids in the microwave to dry them out. It's true, people have tried this. Placing your hearing aids in the microwave will fry the circuitry.
Microphones are very small. They're found on the faceplates of the hearing aids. The part that faces out when they're in your ears. The microphones are the tiny holes you see in your hearing aids. They'll either be one or two holes. Sometimes the microphone are covered by a mic inlet screen which helps to catch dirt flying through the air. The screens have tiny holes in them to let the sound in, but they can clog up with dirt.
Use your brush on the microphones but do not force the brush into the holes where the microphones are located. Avoid using hairspray with your hearing aids in your ears. You might even wait for your hair to dry out from any moisture from the hairspray.
The sound tubes are how the sound comes out of your hearing aids and into your ears. Sounds tubes plug up more from ear wax and dry skin more than any other part on hearing aids. By nature, the gland which produces ear wax, the cerumen gland, is designed to point out the of your ear so the ear wax will flow out and is less likely to cause an impaction. Sound must go in. Ear wax must come out. See the problem?
There are some hearing aids which have wax guard protectors of various types. Some of these are patient changeable. If you know you're battery is good but you are getting little to no volume then change your wax guard. If you do not have a wax guard, use the wire end of your brush or the wired cleaning tool your hearing aids came with to gently clean the wax out of the end of the hearing aid where the sound comes out. This is the end which goes into your ear.
In the case of hearing aids with comfort tips, which also stop feedback or whistling of the hearing aids, these can simply be removed and snap another one right back on. While you have it off run a thin wire or needle through the horizontal red (for right) or blue (for left) hole where the sound comes out of the hearing aids. This should clear any wax that the comfort tip hasn't caught.
The shell or outside of your hearing aids is made out of a special hypo-allergenic plastic which is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. If your ears becomes red and very dry after use or red and wet after use where ever the hearing is touching, stop wearing the hearing aids and contact your hearing instrument specialist. This is very rare The main concern is keeping the hearing aids clean. There are cleaning solutions that can be purchased, but in most cases a tissue to dry your hearing aids and wipe them off is sufficient.
This sounds like a lot of work, but a lot of scenarios have been covered here. Just remember your basic cleaning discussed here and keeping your hearing aids dry.