Most people are not aware that, according to research conducted at Johns Hopkins University, untreated hearing loss is linked to a higher risk of cognitive decline and the onset of dementia. Failing to address hearing loss can also contribute to depression, anxiety, stress, balance disorders, and a variety of other negative health conditions.
Because of the potential consequences hearing loss can have on your overall health and quality of life, regular hearing assessments should be a top priority, especially if you are over the age of 50.
Though there are a number of reasons that people put off having their hearing tested, one of them is not understanding what takes place during a comprehensive hearing assessment. Our objective in this blog post is to help demystify the process.
The 3 Most Common Causes of Hearing Aid Problems
Before we get into the essential care tips, let’s take a moment to understand the three most common causes of hearing aid problems that require repair or replacement.
Moisture is your hearing aid’s worst enemy. It causes corrosion in the battery compartment or on other electrical connections, and it can cause your hearing aid to short out.
2. Built-Up Earwax and Debris
Built-up earwax and debris not only block the microphone or receiver, which causes poor sound quality and/or whistling, but they can also trap moisture and cause the same issues mentioned above.
3. Broken or Damaged Parts
Some parts are faulty, but most broken or damaged parts are the result of dropping your hearing aids, exposing them to temperature extremes, handling them roughly, or failing to clean and maintain them properly.
1. Avoid Your Hearing Aid’s Worst Enemy
Modern hearing aids are designed to help prevent moisture from getting in, but they are not entirely waterproof. You can help avoid moisture issues and the damage they cause by following a few essential tips.
- Always remove your hearing aids when you shower, go swimming, sit in a hot tub, or use a sauna.
- However, there are other ways that moisture can come into contact with your hearing aids.
- After a shower, bath, or swim, your ears could still have a little bit of water in them, so wait a few minutes to
- make sure your ears are dry before inserting your hearing aids.
- High summer temperatures and intense exercise cause perspiration. Make sure you remove any moisture
- in or around your ears before inserting your hearing aids.
- Condensation can also be a factor. When it’s cold outside, condensation can creep into your hearing
- aids when you go back into a warm room, so be aware of that possible source of moisture as well.
- Leave the battery door open on your hearing aids at night. This helps any moisture inside the unit
- to evaporate.
- Invest in a hearing aid dry kit. This is your best bet for ensuring that your hearing aids are free of
- moisture before you put them in your ears.
2. Daily Cleaning Helps Prevent the Buildup of Earwax and Debris
Your best solution for preventing most of the problems your hearing aids might have involves keeping them clean. This requires a daily commitment in order to ensure that earwax and debris don’t cause them to malfunction.
Follow the directions of your hearing aid provider or refer to How to Clean Your Hearing Aids. Here are some important things to keep in mind while you’re cleaning your hearing aids:
- Always clean your hearing aids over a towel or your bed to prevent any shock if you
- should happen to drop them while you’re cleaning.
- Create a routine for cleaning your hearing aids. Cleaning them at night allows them to dry while you sleep
- and is a good way to make sure they’re ready in the morning, just in case you’re in a hurry.
- Inspect your hearing aids for any damage while you clean them. This allows you to bring minor damage
- and repair problems to the attention of your hearing aid provider.
3. How to Prevent Component Damage
Your hearing aids are sophisticated electronic instruments, so they need a lot of TLC in order to perform in the way they were designed. Here are some ways you can help provide that TLC.
- When cleaning, changing batteries, swapping out wax guards, or any time you’re handling
- your hearing aids, place a towel on the work surface or work over a bed.
- Take your carrying case with you to safely store your hearing aids wherever you go, just
- in case you need to remove them.
- When your hearing aids are not in your ears, keep them in a safe place where children and pets
- won’t get ahold of them.
- Don’t leave your hearing aids in a hot car, especially on the dashboard, on a windowsill, or any place
- where they might be damaged by heat or UV rays.
- Inspect your hearing aids while you clean them, and then advise your hearing care provider if you
- see any minor damage.
4. Keep Up With Scheduled Maintenance
Most people are pretty good about keeping up with scheduled maintenance on a new car. The same commitment is necessary to ensure that your hearing aids perform their best.
Every six months, your hearing aids should be brought in to your hearing aid provider to ensure that they are performing as designed. A scheduled maintenance appointment typically includes:
- Deep cleaning
- A hearing check
- Repair of any damaged components
- Reprogramming (if necessary)
Protect Your Hearing Aid Investment with Smiles from Ear to Hear
Your hearing aids not only help you hear better, but they have the potential to help improve your overall health by preventing depression and anxiety, cognitive decline, balance disorders, and other negative health issues. Ensuring that your hearing aids are performing at their highest level is an important part of the hearing care we provide at Smiles from Ear to Hear.
Feel free to contact us for troubleshooting, maintenance, repair, and additional essential care tips by filling out and submitting the adjacent form.