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What Common Problems Do Hearing Aid Users Face?

an audiologist placing a hearing aid in a patient's ear

For those experiencing hearing loss, a hearing aid can improve their hearing ability by amplifying the sounds they hear. There are now numerous different types and styles of hearing aid on the market, suiting a wider variety of people of all ages. Although hearing aids have come a long way in recent years, they are of course, not without their faults, so here are some of the most common problems that hearing aid users face. 

Dead batteries

Although hearing aid batteries have improved tenfold in recent years, they still eventually run out. Hearing aid batteries can last anywhere from three to 14 days depending on their use and the severity of the individual’s hearing loss, after which time they need to be replaced. Replacing the hearing aid battery can be a little tricky especially for invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids and some people struggle with their fiddly nature. If you struggle to change your hearing aid battery then it’s worth speaking to your hearing instrument specialist (HIS) who will be able to discuss other options with you, such as rechargeable hearing aids. 

Build-up of earwax

Another of the most common problems that hearing aid users face is a build-up of earwax, caused by having a foreign body in the ear which promotes excessive earwax production. Hearing aid manufacturers estimate that up to 70% of hearing aids returned to them for maintenance have a problem caused by a build-up of earwax and so it’s important that hearing aid users regularly clean their hearing aids and schedule timely appointments with their HIS to have any build-up of earwax in their ears removed. It’s important never to attempt earwax removal yourself, as this can push it further inside the ear canal, causing impaction. 

Weak sound

At some point or another, most hearing aid users will experience unusually weak sound which can be caused by a number of factors. The first thing to check is that your dome is not full of earwax, as this can become clogged and may need replacing. Earwax can also enter into hearing aid tubes in open-fit hearing aids, blocking the sound from entering your ear, so check that it is not blocked. Another common cause for weak sound is a dying battery, try replacing the battery with a new one and ensure that the battery door closes properly. 

Water damage

As a general rule, hearing aids don’t like water, this includes wearing them in the shower, wearing them in humid climates, sweating too much and even getting caught in heavy rain. Getting your hearing aid wet can cause permanent damage, so always try to keep your hearing aid dry and if it does get wet then let it dry out thoroughly or put it in a bowl of dry rice to absorb any excess water. If your hearing aid isn’t working as it should be or no-longer works after water damage then you may need to have it replaced, so it is best to speak to a HIS. 

Feedback

If your hearing aid is not fitting properly then you may experience a whistling noise which is commonly called feedback. Feedback is caused by ill-fitting ear molds, so try taking your mold out and re-inserting it into your ear to ensure a good fit. If the noise does not stop or you do not feel that your hearing aid is fitting as it should be, then you will need to speak to your HIS to have some new molds made. Sometimes it may also be your dome that is at fault, an ill-fitting dome can allow sound to leak out and air to rush in, causing odd noises. 

Volume adjustments

Hearing aids can take some getting used to, and one of the trickiest features is often getting the volume settings just right. Many hearing aids now have an automatic volume control, which can help to ensure that loud sounds are amplified more softly, but you may still wish to adjust your volume manually in certain situations. The key to learning proper volume control lies in practice, your HIS will teach you about the features of your hearing aid but you may want to practice more on your own at home to ensure that you feel comfortable adjusting your hearing aid as necessary. 

Do you still need help?

To find out more about My Hearing Center and how we can help you to solve a wide range of hearing aid issues, get in touch today on the following numbers:

  • Palm Springs: 561-612-0138
  • Boynton Beach: 561-623-9060
  • West Palm Beach: 561-612-0231
  • Jensen Beach: 772-408-9559
  • Jupiter: 561-935-6592