Maybe you have taken the powerful step of getting a hearing aid. If it is your first time using an aid, you may encounter a few common problems. These are typically easy to cure as we outline below.
Problem: Sore or Itchy Ears
Hearing aids are designed to be comfortable, but when you first wear a new aid, you may feel some sensation inside your ears. The first step if your ears feel sore inside is to check with your audiologist. Depending on the style of your hearing aid, you might place a small amount of hearing aid gel or lubricant at the entrance of the ear after you remove your hearing aids each night. These products relieve dry skin and itching. For behind-the-ear hearing aid, you might try a strip of moleskin on the underside of the device to protect the top of your ear. No matter the style of the hearing aid, if the discomfort does subside, your audiologist may suggest a different style of hearing aid.
Problem: Feedback or Whistling Sound
While many hearing aids have automatic feedback cancellation, you can avoid uncomfortable whistling by first ensuring that your aid is properly fitting in your ear and that the volume control is not turned up unnecessarily high. Additionally, avoid clothes or behavior that covers your ear. Covering your ear with a scarf (or leaning into a pillow) can trap sound and cause it to re-enter the microphone. Finally, if you continue to have trouble, check with your audiologist.
Problem: Power Problems
If your hearing aid does not power on you need to check the battery. Always check to make the battery is not expired and that it is installed correctly. If the battery is good, check the tip of the hearing aid for wax or other debris. Debris may prevent the device from working correctly. Always consult your hearing aid manual for the most appropriate cleaning techniques for your device.
Problem: Poor Sound Quality
First-time hearing aid users can report declining quality of sounds after wearing their aids for a few weeks. Your audiologist may program the aid below your prescription strength to give you time to adjust. If you notice a decline or change in the quality of the sounds you hear, please visit your audiologist to make the necessary adjustments to your settings. Other reasons for poor sound quality include weak batteries or dirty wax filters. Regular maintenance of your hearing aid will ensure more consistent sound quality.
Problem: Sharp Sounds
Most hearing aid devices boost high-pitched sounds to ensure to capture the full range of human speech. However, this adjustment can cause other sounds to be annoying. Most users adapt naturally to these new sounds, but if the sharpness of sounds becomes a distraction or a deterrent to using your aid, please check with your audiologist for a professional adjustment.
Your hearing aid is a tool to improve the quality of your life. Like all tools, your aid requires care and maintenance to ensure proper performance. While most users adjust to their aids easily, it is good to be aware of some tips to help you navigate life with your new aid. The steps above, combined with the skilled consultation of your audiologist, will help you ignore the aid and enjoy the world of sound and improved communication.