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How to troubleshoot and solve top common problems for hearing aids

  • 10 Feb 2018

To understand what causes the hearing aid to not function the way it should, you firstly need to understand how the hearing aid works.

When a brand-new battery is inserted into the hearing aid, you will hear a whistling sound after closing the battery door. This whistling sound is called feedback which happens when sound from the receiver gets fed back to the microphone. From there, the sound is re-amplified which causes the whistling sound. This is a useful check that family members or the care giver of the hearing-impaired individual can do on their behalf.

 

1) Flat Battery

Before the battery goes flat, modern smart hearing aid will give off a low battery signal to notify the user. Always carry a spare battery with you at all times to ensure hearing is not disrupted.

You can use the battery tester to test the existing battery strengthen. If battery is flat, please open a new battery by removing the sticker, wait for 5 minute and insert it into the hearing aid and run the whistling test mentioned above.

 

2) Battery is inserted in the wrong direction

Hearing aid battery has two sides: a positive and negative polarity, similar to many other batteries.

Inserting the battery into the hearing aid with the correct polarity is important as incorrect insertion causes the hearing aid not to work and may spoil the battery door or in severe cases, the hearing aid housing.

One quick test; the battery door will close easily and effortlessly when the battery is inserted correctly. So, if you feel some resistance when trying to close the door, don’t force. Please remove the battery, check the polarity/turn the battery around and reinsert.

 

3) wax-filter is blocked with ear wax (applies for custom made hearing aids)

Wax filter is a small white plastic circle that is attached to the end of your custom-made hearing aid or the end that enters your ear canal first. Its purpose is to prevent dirt such as ear wax to enter the hearing aid thereby affecting its functionality.

Do a visual check to see if it is blocked and needs a change.

Wax filter - new wax filter 

 

 

 

New wax filter in white on top of the stick

Empty end of Wax filter

 

 

 

Empty end of the wax filter stick

 

 

To understand what causes the hearing aid to not function the way it should, you firstly need to understand how the hearing aid works.

When a brand-new battery is inserted into the hearing aid, you will hear a whistling sound after closing the battery door. This whistling sound is called feedback which happens when sound from the receiver gets fed back to the microphone. From there, the sound is re-amplified which causes the whistling sound. This is a useful check that family members or the care giver of the hearing-impaired individual can do on their behalf.

 

4) Microphone outlet is dirty or the cover is dropped (applies for both custom-made and BTE hearing aids)

Brush the microphone outlet regularly to remove any dirt or dust that have accumulated on the microphone outlet. If it is dirty, torn or dropped, simply put in a new mic guard and you are all set.

 

5) Corrosion due to moisture

 Hearing aids are devices worn by patients and are in close contact to our skin most of the time, just like wearing glasses.

Corrosion in the battery contact or even the electronic components (e.g. amplifier module, microphone and receiver) inside the hearing aid is likely to occur if the hearing aid is not kept free from moisture e.g. perspiration, high humidity environment where there is high moisture content in the air.

It is recommended for users to wipe the hearing aid dry with a piece of tissue paper before putting the aid into a box that contain drying agent e.g. dry capsules (pictured). For users who tends to perspire more, they may consider using an electronic dry box with stronger drying effect.

 
If the hearing aid is still not working, please bring it to your Audiologist for a more thorough check.