Handling Hearing Aid Repairs
Hearing aids may be small but they are also complex, highly technical devices. Even if you are consistent caring for your hearing aid, sometimes things go wrong or simply wear out. Do you know what to do when your hearing aid starts malfunctioning? Find out more about what solutions you can handle yourself and when to contact your hearing care provider.
Here are some common problems encountered by hearing aid users that are often easily solvable, if you don’t have any luck with these solutions be sure to contact your audiologist.
• Feedback: This can happen when the sound being amplified by the hearing aid is picked up by microphone, it can result in an irritating ‘whistling’ sound. One possible cause is the earmolds not sitting correctly in your ear; try gently adjusting them or pushing them in. Another common problem that can create feedback is excessive earwax; make sure you keep your ears and hearing aid as clean as possible.
• Buzzing sounds: If your hearing aid has a loop setting, check that you haven’t accidentally activated it; this is a common cause of ‘buzzing’ sounds.
• Distortion or unclear sound: Make sure the volume is set at an appropriate level and is not too high or too low. Check that the batteries are in correctly; if that isn’t the problem try new batteries. Exposure to moisture can cause corrosion in the battery compartment, if your hearing aid is producing no sound at all, check for this. Always keep your aid as dry as possible.
• Behind-the-ear (BTE) users: If you have a BTE hearing aid, carefully remove the tubing and check for blockages or condensation build up by blowing gently through the tube. Be sure to check that the tubing is not squashed or twisted as this can also cause problems.
When to contact your audiologist
If none of these solutions have fixed your problem, it’s time to contact your audiologist. Many hearing aid warranties cover necessary repairs; it could even be something as simple as a programming issue. In cases of physical damage, many hearing care providers are able to conduct simple repairs themselves, so if you catch the problem early enough there may be no need to send your device back to the manufacturer. Contact your audiologist immediately if any of the following points apply to you:
• You have been comfortably using your hearing aid for a while and it suddenly starts to produce static; excessive feedback or volume disturbances
• You notice any cracks or holes in the faceplate of your hearing aid
• You have a BTE hearing aid and your tubing has become dislodged