More than 48 million Americans have hearing loss, and many rely on a tiny and complex medical device for treatment. Hearing aids come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, but all have the same job – amplifying sounds so that your damaged ears can hear them. But what happens when your hearing aids are not as loud as they used to be?
How Hearing Aids Work
There are three main components of any hearing aid: microphone, amplifier and speaker.
- The microphone captures the sounds in your environment and converts those sounds into digital signals.
- The amplifier increases the strength of that digital signal based on your exact degree of hearing loss.
- The speaker transmits the digitally amplified sound into your ear.
How to Troubleshoot Your Hearing Aid Problems
Most hearing aid users rely on these devices to connect them with others. Problems relating to hearing aid management are most often deemed to have the greatest impact on hearing aid success and be the most preventable/solvable. When a problem has been identified, it must be corrected as quickly as possible to avoid unnecessary downtime.
Below are the most common fixes if your hearing aids do not seem to be amplifying sounds as loud as they should be.
Turn Up the Volume
Never underestimate the simplest solution. If your hearing aids are not loud enough, you should first check your volume setting either through your remote control or on the hearing aids themselves.
Visually Inspect Your Hearing Aids
Take a good look at your hearing aids, keeping an eye out for any earwax that could be blocking the microphone or speaker. If there is some earwax or other debris, use a wax pick or your all-purpose cleaning tool to remove the buildup.
For those who wear behind-the-ear (BTE) or receiver-in-the-ear (RIC) hearing aids, make sure to examine the tubing or wire. A crack or buildup of moisture in the tubing can dampen sound. You can either replace the tubing yourself or come into the office to have our technicians complete the repair for you.
Try a Different Program
Hearing aids come with many programs designed for a variety of different listening situations. If your hearing aids are not performing well while you’re eating lunch at Natural Cafe, try switching to another program that may be better suited for your environment.
Get a Hearing Test
Hearing loss is a progressive condition, which means it may continue to worsen throughout your life. If your hearing aids do not appear to be working, it may not be at the fault of the devices; your hearing may have changed. If it has been more than a few years since you have had your hearing checked, you should contact your provider to schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation.
Your audiologist will then use the results of your tests to adjust your hearing aid settings to better fit your unique degree of hearing loss. To learn more about troubleshooting your hearing aids or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, contact Hearing Services of Santa Barbara today.