Hearing aids require special care to ensure that they function properly. Your audiologist will show you how to care for and check them regularly. Ask how you can obtain a listening tube, a battery tester, a forced air blower, and a drying container.
Perform Listening Checks
Listen to the hearing aid every day. Using a listening tube, you can listen to the hearing aids to be sure that they sound clear and not weak or scratchy. Your audiologist will teach you how to listen for intermittency and internal feedback.
Batteries should last about 1 or 2 weeks. Using a battery tester, check that the batteries are at full strength so that the hearing aids are working at peak performance. Always keep spare batteries with you. Store them in a cool, dry place. Discard batteries one at a time. Batteries are toxic, so handle them carefully and dispose of them properly.
Clean the Hearing Aids Regularly
Clean your hearing aids with a soft, dry cloth. Check for dirt and grime. Earmolds can be removed from the hearing aids and cleaned with a mild soap solution. Dry them carefully using a forced air blower (not a hair dryer!). Be sure they are dry before reattaching them to the hearing aids.
Minimize Moisture in the Hearing Aids
This is important for proper function. A hearing aid drying container will help keep moisture from building up inside the hearing aids and will lengthen their life. Be sure to take the batteries out of the hearing aid before placing them in the storage containers.
Feedback is the whistling sound that can be heard from the hearing aid. It occurs when amplified sound comes out of the earmold and reenters the microphone. You should not be hearing feedback if the hearing aid is securely seated in your ear. Hearing feedback may suggest that the earmold is too small and needs to be replaced or that there is too much earwax in the ear canal.
Ask Your Audiologist
Talk to your audiologist about what you should do when you start hearing feedback. Turning down the volume of the hearing aid will cut down on the feedback but will also not allow you to hear important sounds.
Regular audiology visits are important for hearing testing, to check the performance of the hearing aid, and to make necessary adjustments.
Hearing Aid Troubleshooting Tips
- If the hearing aid is weak or dead (no sound)…
- Make sure that the hearing aid is switched on.
- If there is a volume control, make sure it is turned loud enough for you to hear.
- Check the battery—is it working? Is the battery placed with the positive (+) sign facing up?
- Check the receiver opening and any vent openings and make sure they are not blocked with wax or other debris.
- Check to see if the tubing is still connected properly and that it is not bent or twisted.
- Check to see if the microphone opening is not blocked. If it is, use the brush in your tool kit to clean away any debris.
- If the hearing aid is distorted or intermittent… Check the tubing for moisture. If moisture is present, remove with an air blower.
- Check the tubing for cracks or holes. If you see any, call your audiologist.
- Replace the battery because it may be weak or defective.
- If there are cords connecting to the hearing aid or other hearing assistive device, check for cracks and replace the cord if necessary.