Here in Hardin County, hearing loss is more common than you think. Most of my patients don’t go to rock concerts and blast loud music in their house. They just live. Going to the gun range, working in the sweltering heat on noisy oil & gas equipment, and even work over at the Preserve can cause hearing issues over time.
Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen a steep rise in people who need hearing aids. These incredible, intricate pieces of hearing technology can revitalize your hearing and help you on your journey to crystal clear sound. But hearing aids aren’t perfect. Today, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions I get about hearing aids at my clinic.
Remember, you should always visit your audiologist after you get a hearing aid. Not only can we help you tweak them to fit your hearing needs, but we have the educational tools you need to make the most of your newfound hearing.
#1 My Hearing Aids Don’t Amplify any Sound
Getting hearing aids after a long period of hearing difficulties can be exciting. You’re about to hear clearly again! But what happens when you pull them out of the box and they don’t produce any sound? Don’t panic yet! Let’s go over a few of the simple things it could be.
- It might just be turned off. Hearing aids are tiny, and it can be easy to click it off or forget to turn it on accidentally. Check the switch and make sure that it’s flipped to an on position.
- Check the batteries. Even if your hearing aid is brand new, it could still have a dead battery. You should try replacing the battery (I have some down at my office.)
- Check the volume. Is the volume turned up? If it is, push it the other way to be safe.
- Make sure that your mic is clean. Ear wax, dirt, and debris on the microphone can essentially mute the hearing aid. Give it a good wipe down to make sure that’s not the problem.
- Clean the receiver tube. Here is a great video that will show you an example of someone cleaning a receiver tube.
If all of those steps fail, drop by my office. I’ll get you fixed up.
#2 I’m Hearing Uncomfortable Sounds
Hearing aids are supposed to deliver clarity of sound while amplifying the volume of everything around you. So, if you put them on and you hear loud sounds, strange noises, or low sound, there’s something wrong. Try this:
- Check the volume. Having the volume too high or too low can cause every sound to become uncomfortable. Make sure that your volume settings are your desired level.
- Check the programming. Some modern hearing aids have pre-set programs that you can flip to. These are built to handle specific situations and hearing loss levels. Make sure that your programming is correct for your hearing loss.
- Replace the battery. A damaged or low-juice battery can cause strange noises and muted volume levels. Try replacing them to see if that fixes the issue.
- Give it a good cleaning. The receiver tubes, controls, buttons, and batteries can all accumulate dust, grime, and earwax. Try to clean your hearing aids thoroughly to see if that fixes the issue.
If you are still experiencing problems, please get in touch.
#3 My Hearing Aid is Whistling or Giving off Feedback
Unless you’re watching the Andy Griffith Show, your hearing aid shouldn’t be whistling. While whistling can be an unpleasant sound (especially when it’s right in your ear), a whistling hearing aid can signify an issue with the device. Try this:
- Clean your ears. When a sound goes from your hearing aid into your ear canal, unwanted ear wax can reverberate that sound right back into the hearing aid. This causes whistling-like feedback. Stop by my office and get your ears professionally cleaned. All of that earwax can damage your hearing further and possibly cause damage to your hearing aid.
- Check for feedback. Did you know that wearing hats and scarves (even touching people) can give off feedback? Make sure that there’s nothing on you that could be causing feedback that interrupts your hearing aid.
- Improper fit. If you ordered your hearing aid online, you might have gotten the wrong fit. This can cause some serious feedback issues. Make sure to talk to your audiologist before you get hearing aids. These are incredibly sophisticated devices, and each person has unique hearing aid needs.
- Your earmolds are worn. Over time, hearing aid earmolds can get wear-and-tear, causing your seal to leak and creating feedback. Stop by my office to get a new set of earmolds that accurately fit your ears.
- Check the volume. If the volume is too loud, it can cause feedback.
If you still hear whistling after these steps, stop by my office. I’ll diagnose the issue.
#4 My Hearing Aids Don’t Fit Comfortably
Hearing aids should comfortably rest over your ears and become unnoticeable over time. But if you picked hearing aids that don’t fit properly, your journey to clear hearing can be plagued by annoying frictions. The primary cause of uncomfortable hearing aids is that you purchased them online or without consulting your audiologist first. Like eyeglasses and braces, you should consult with a professional before putting on hearing aids. Not only can an uncomfortable fit be annoying, but it can also damage your ear over time.
I’ve helped countless patients find hearing aids that fit them, work appropriately, and provide the level of hearing care and comfort that they need to live their lives to the fullest. Maybe you need 24/7 hearing aids that allow you to sleep with them so that you can hear your alarm clock or intruders. Or, perhaps you need invisible (nano) hearing aids that go unnoticed at work or family events.
I can help you find the perfect solution for you. My office has advanced digital 3D ear scanning technology that lets me accurately scan your ear canal and ear shape to determine a precise fit for you. Drop by for an appointment. Let’s get you hearing again.
Dr. Joni Ruiz is the owner and Doctor of Audiology at Big Thicket Hearing Aids and Audiology. She earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009 from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. Selected for a prestigious fourth-year externship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ruiz has more than ten years’ experience as an Audiologist. She has a heart for patient-centered care. At her hearing care practice, she performs comprehensive diagnostic audiological evaluations, provides aural rehabilitation to her patients and their loved ones, dispenses state of the art hearing aids, and manages the care of said devices for their life. Dr. Ruiz is dedicated to patient education regarding hearing loss, hearing protection, and hearing aid selection.