Summer is a wonderful time to travel and be with friends and family. We all want to hear what is going on, enjoying those wonderful sounds of the season. But when you wear hearing aids, this can also be a very frustrating time. Moisture issues are prevalent as well as ear problems like swimmer’s ear and wax accumulation.
What to do?
Even more frustrating, hearing aids can break down when you are traveling or on weekends when those big special events are scheduled. It is difficult to get in to your hearing care provider for a clean and check, so what do you do?
Simple troubleshooting tips
Most issues we see in the office are fairly simple to solve. Our staff is well trained to look for these common problems and can usually “cure” the issue in a matter of minutes. There are some fairly simple troubleshooting tips that may help you bring your hearing aid back to normal function when you can’t get into our office.
Is it the battery?
If your hearing aid is dead — no sound coming out — first try to change the battery. Make sure the tab from the battery has been removed. If a new battery does not work, try a battery from a different pack. Sometimes packs of batteries are old or have been exposed to elements that cause them not to work properly. If you have one hearing aid working, take the battery from the good aid and try it in the bad aid. That is a quick, easy way to rule out a battery issue without wasting any more batteries. Do not try more than two batteries. If the aid is still not working, try something else.
Dead or weak hearing aids can be caused by a blockage in the system. Depending on your style of hearing aid, you may check the tubing for moisture or wax buildup, or check the wax basket/filter. If the hearing aid has traditional tubing, the earmold can be removed and blown out with canned air or even your mouth in a pinch. Thin-tube hearing aids come with a small reamer that will clear the tubing. If the hearing aid is an in-the-ear style or receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) style, there is likely a wax guard or basket that can be changed.
Lastly, moisture is a huge problem in the summer months. If you have a drying jar, this is the time to use it. If you do not, ask your provider. The price can vary from $10–$200 for electric drying machines. In a pinch, a baggie with a few of the silicone packs you find in a new shoebox may work.
If the hearing aid continues to have issues, call your AudigyCertified™ provider. Often the hearing aids can be fixed by your provider in the office. Of course, the best remedy is prevention. Patients are encouraged to visit their provider several times throughout the year for routine cleanings and maintenance. If you are planning a trip or are attending an event and have not been in for a while, please call your provider for a clean and check to help head off any problems you might experience on the road.