Adjusting to life with hearing aids takes a bit of time, so it pays to be prepared for what’s ahead. The following is a list of the most common problems hearing aid customers face, and how to fix them. The good news is that because these issues are so common, the designs of hearing aids have evolved to accommodate almost all of them.
Problem #1: Battery Life
Hearing aids require tiny batteries to operate, meaning you’ll always need to be aware of your hearing aid’s battery life.
The Solution: Carry spares! They don’t take up a lot of space so you’ll be able to have multiple batteries on hand. (Check to see if your medical benefits cover hearing aid batteries – many do!) Expect to get anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks out of each battery, and remember to switch off the devices whenever possible.
Problem #2: Moisture Concerns
Let’s face it, whether it’s our sweat, the shower, or a rainy day, hearing aids are bound to come into contact with moisture. Many people worry that excessive moisture will damage their devices, or cause them to slip and fall out.
The Solution: Hearing aids are built to hold up against the elements, including moisture. For added security, choose from any of Beltone’s hearing aids, which come with an HPF80 NanoBlock protective coating.
While we still recommend taking hearing aids out during a shower, a bit of sweat or a little bad weather won’t cause damage. Be sure to get your hearing aid fitted properly by a hearing care professional so it fits snuggly.
Problem #3: Too Much Ear Wax
In the past, excessive ear wax has been known to interfere with hearing aids as it blocked the device’s microphone and other small parts, hindering their performance.
The Solution: With regular ear-cleaning practices, ear wax is unlikely to build up to an amount that could clog your devices. Wipe the hearing aids clean after you remove them to avoid build up on the devices themselves, and choose a hearing aid that has a protective coating, as mentioned above. Learn more about ear wax and how to properly clean your ears here.
Problem #4: Feedback
When hearing aids pick up on their own operating noises, usually when something is rubbed against them, they end up amplifying the sounds they’re making, causing a jarring, high-pitched squealing sound.
The Solution: Avoid turning on your hearing aid until it is in your ear, and make sure it fits properly. If feedback is a concern for you, make sure to select a hearing aid that comes with a feedback elimination feature, such as the Beltone Legend™, which comes with Feedback Eraser.
Problem #5: Maintaining an Active Lifestyle
When you first start wearing a hearing aid, it’s going to feel a little strange, maybe even bulky, despite its small size. Many people end up wondering how they are going to maintain the active lifestyles they are used to, like going to the gym or wearing a helmet while mountain biking.
The Solution: Hearing aids are now so small they are unlikely to interfere with any type of physical activity, especially if you opt for the Beltone micro-Invisa™, or any other model that sits inside the ear canal. These types of devices are perfect for people with active lifestyles.
Problem #6: Swimming
Helping people with limited hearing to still enjoy a day at the beach or pool is an issue hearing aid manufacturers are continually addressing. So far, options are still limited, with very few completely waterproof hearing aids on the market.
The Solution: If swimming is a big part of your life, speak to your hearing health professional, who will be able to make some recommendations. If you’ll be around the water a lot, such as on a boating trip, consider stowing your hearing aids in a safe place. Eventually, making these concessions will become second nature.
Problem #7: Sleeping
A common question people new to hearing aids have is what to do at bedtime. Leave them in, and the discomfort is bound to affect the quality of your sleep. Take them out, and how will you hear your children, an intruder, an alarm clock, or a smoke detector?
The Solution: There are hearing aids available that are suitable for 24/7 wear. Let your hearing care professional know if you are concerned about having to wear hearing aids through the night. He or she can match you up with the appropriate device and customize the device’s sleep setting to suit your needs.
Problem #8 Headaches
As you’re getting used to the feeling and functionality of your new hearing aid, it’s possible you might experience mild headaches at the start, or at the very least something called a “stuffy head syndrome,” which feels a bit like having plugged ears.
The Solution: If hearing aids are causing persistent headaches, something is wrong with the way they are fitted or the way have been set up. It might be that the settings on your hearing aid are too loud for what you’re ready for. A hearing care professional can adjust the settings to reduce the power of your hearing aid, giving you time to acclimate to the new world of sound around you.
Problem #9: Volume Control
Hearing aids used to require a lot of adjusting, whether you were talking on the phone, listening to the television, or sitting around the table during a loud dinner party. Many people new to hearing aids fear they will have to account for these scenarios throughout the day, constantly drawing attention to the fact they are wearing hearing aids.
The Solution: Go digital! Today’s digital hearing aids auto-adjust to your surroundings, minimizing the amount of time you’ll have to spend fussing over volume control. Some hearing aids also come with a remote control, which allows for discreet volume control when required.
Problem #10: Malfunctions
Since hearing aids are intricate devices, a lot of people worry they are fragile and prone to breaking down, especially in the event they are dropped, stepped on, or eaten by the dog! The concern about hearing aids malfunctioning is two-fold: covering replacement costs and suffering from downtime.
The Solution: Avoid buying your hearing aids online, as the time is takes to mail the devices back for repairs if they break down may be lengthy. Instead, shop for a hearing aid locally and ask about additional coverage options. For added peace of mind, extended warranties such as BelCare™ are available.
If you’re looking for more information about hearing aids and hearing health, download our hearing health in America guide below: