Hearing aids are an essential element involved in living a more independent and better quality of life. However, to reap the benefits of hearing aids, they must perform as designed.

Our Silicon Valley clients understand troubleshooting and tech support of some of the most advanced electronic components in the world and that most problems have simple solutions.

As part of my commitment to our patients, I have compiled six of the most common issues hearing aid users face and the simple solutions for ensuring optimum performance.

1. Batteries

Battery life is among the most common issues faced by hearing aid users. The cycle life of a hearing aid battery can last anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks, depending on usage.

Since their power drains off a lot faster then we expect it to and because they don’t take up a lot of space, it’s best to keep a few fresh batteries on hand at all times.

2. Moisture Concerns

It’s no secret that moisture and electronics don’t go together well.

Hearing aids are some of the most delicate electronics available, and they operate in an environment where moisture from sweat, condensation, and humidity pose a constant threat.

A conscious effort to remove them and set them aside in a safe place while using the shower, swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, while performing regular hygiene, or any other high moisture area or activity will help ensure their longevity and performance.

In areas with high humidity, consider investing in a dehumidifier.

3. Earwax Buildup

Next to moisture, earwax presents one of the most significant performance problems for hearing aids. Earwax often blocks the microphone or interferes with the function of the delicate parts of the device.

Daily cleaning of the device, along with frequent inspection and replacement of earwax filters help to eliminate this problem.


4. Whistling and Feedback

Your hearing aids can produce the same high-pitched whistling sound like a poorly set up sound system. Its cause can result from improper insertion, a hair or piece of clothing brushing against the microphone, improper adjustment, loose wires, or a device malfunction.

Be sure to use the mirror to insert your hearing aids, especially when you first start wearing them, make a conscious effort to keep hair and clothing away from your ears, and inspect your device during daily cleaning so you can identify physical defects before they become a problem.

5. Painful Sounds and Headaches

Before you started wearing your hearing aid, your brain had gotten used to the muffled sounds you were hearing and adapted to that level of sound. Consequently, the amplified sounds produced by your hearing aid are a shock to your brain, producing painful sounds and headaches.

In addition to sounds, such as the hum of the refrigerator, the clock, or street noise, the sound of your own voice can add to your discomfort. Work up to all-day wearing by taking breaks from your hearing aids as you get used to them, shortening the duration of the intervals and increasing the time of wearing your device.

Get used to them in the relatively quiet environment of your home before venturing out. Many people read aloud to themselves to help speed up the transition process.

6. Damage and Malfunctions

Hearing aids can become damaged if they are dropped, stepped on, exposed to UV radiation, or a wide range of other issues. Daily cleaning, proper storage, and avoiding moisture are some of the best ways to prevent damage and malfunctions.

Place a towel or soft cloth under your device while you clean them, providing a soft place to land if you drop them. Store them in a safe place inside a shockproof case to avoid damage from children and pets.

Inspect your device as you clean it and bring any defects to the attention of your hearing care provider.

Pacific Hearing Service Is Here to Help

Among the benefits of professional hearing care is the tech support provided by trained hearing aid technicians. Pacific Hearing Service has the equipment and expertise to troubleshoot, maintain, and repair your hearing aids.

We provide remote assistance via teleaudiology appointment as well as on-site service that follows proper protocols to ensure your safety. Contact us for help troubleshooting, adjusting, or maintaining your hearing aids.

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Deborah Clark, Au.D.

Dr. Deborah Clark has been with Pacific Hearing Service since 1998. In January 2008, she became co-owner working first in the Menlo Park office and now managing the Los Altos office. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and is certified by the American Board of Audiology. She was on the board of the Hearing Loss Association of America, California State Association from 2010 – 2013, and served as Vice President.