A grandchild’s piano recital, logs crackling in the fireplace, conversations with friends over coffee, and so many other beautiful sounds are too precious to miss. Hearing aids are a valuable investment not only into restoring hearing loss, but also into enriching your quality of life and independent lifestyle. Although hearing aids come with an adjustment period and some technological challenges, they are too important to your daily living to ignore. Beyond fitting you with a new hearing aid, my job includes teaching you how to get the most benefit out of it. As a part of my ongoing commitment to my patients and better hearing for the Pensacola community, I have put together several basic hearing aid problems and how to correct them.
The weight and pressure of a hearing aid, even though they are slight, take some getting used to. When you first start wearing a hearing aid, your brain tends to focus on the new sensation and causes discomfort, which can include headaches and stuffiness in your ears. Over time, these feelings will go away. The sensation of your hearing aid slipping around can be the result of improper insertion or the presence of wax or moisture. Be sure to follow insertion guidelines using a mirror and maintain good hygiene. Those who have two hearing aids need to be sure that the left hearing aid (blue dot) is in the left ear and the right hearing aid (red dot) is in the right ear. If these tips do not solve the issue, let us have a look at them.
The discomfort of a new hearing aid often extends to hearing sounds that make you cringe. Part of the uncomfortable sounds is due to your brain’s sudden ability to pickup sounds that have been absent for a period of time. Additionally, the quality and volume of your own voice due to amplification can cause discomfort. Many patients find it necessary to turn down the volume during the adjustment period to get used to them. Reading aloud is also a great way to speed up the adjustment process.
Whistling or Feedback
A different kind of sound discomfort that you could experience is whistling or feedback. This is essentially the same issue that occurs with amplified sound systems and requires following various troubleshooting procedures, including:
- Proper Placement. Be sure to use a mirror and follow proper insertion procedures.
- Interference. Keeping hair, clothing, wax, or debris from brushing against the microphone can help prevent interference feedback.
- Lower Volume. Sound from the amplified speaker when picked up by the microphone causes feedback.
- Clean and Inspect Your Device. Shorted wires, cracks in the casing, and debris in the microphone can cause feedback issues. Follow proper cleaning guidelines and bring the device to us if you notice any damage to the unit.
Not Hearing Anything
This is another common problem with simple solutions easily corrected by following a few troubleshooting steps such as:
- Turn It On. You might have forgotten that you turned it off or inadvertently turned it off during insertion.
- Turn Volume Up. Lowering the volume is common when you are getting used to new hearing aids. It is possible that you turned it down too low to hear it.
- Dead Battery. Many modern hearing aids come with a recharging station, but some require frequent battery changes.
If these troubleshooting steps do not produce sound, then bring your unit in for service or repair.
Don’t Give Up
Hearing aids allow you to enjoy family, work, hobbies, and friends in ways you have been missing. If your hearing aid is not providing this for you, don’t give up. Follow the troubleshooting tips I have provided, ask questions, and seek help from our technical experts. The Hearing Center at Medical Center Clinic team and I want you to have the best quality of life, so we are eager to help solve any problem you might be having with your hearing aid. Contact us for additional help with your device, take advantage of the walk in hours of our Premium Care Program, or schedule an appointment to evaluate how your hearing aid is working for you.