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Hearing aids and key issues you can encounter

Nov, 20, 2023

What are the typical issues experienced with hearing aids?

Hearing aids make our lives better, but what if they're not working well? Actually, there is no single right answer. The solution is not always straightforward. Some hiccups in their performance are entirely normal, particularly during the initial adjustment phase. The good news is that in the majority of cases, these problems are minor and can be easily addressed.

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Typical hearing aid issues

Discomfort in fitting

The ear is a sensitive organ, and when you first insert a hearing aid, it might feel a bit strange. However, that initial discomfort tends to go away with time, and the hearing aid becomes a seamless and comfortable part of your daily routine. Modern hearing aids are designed to be small, discreet, and comfortable, prioritizing your convenience. If you ever have any questions or uncertainties, don't hesitate to set up an extra consultation at one of our Amplifon clinics. Our hearing specialists are here to address all your concerns, carry out any needed assessments, and ensure you're getting the most out of your hearing aid experience, all to support your overall well-being.

Whistling or Larsen effect

Today, the majority of modern hearing aids are equipped with an automatic acoustic feedback cancellation system, which effectively eliminates whistling, also known as the 'Larsen effect,' caused by sound dispersion. The system prevents sound from reverting to the microphone. To avoid whistling, consider the following precautions:

  • Ensure the proper insertion of the hearing aid to prevent sound feedback.
  • Avoid covering the hearing aid with hats or scarves.
  • Refrain from pressing your ear against a pillow, which can trap sound.
  • If you have concerns or suspect earwax blockage, a consultation with a hearing specialist can provide the necessary guidance and assessments.

Unexpected noises

Hearing different, high, low, or unusual sounds when you start using a hearing aid doesn't necessarily mean your device is broken. It's important to remember that people with hearing impairments need a bit of time to get used to all the sounds when they first use a hearing aid. The adjustment happens gradually as you become more familiar with the device and learn how to get the most out of it.

So, if you encounter some unexpected sounds in the first days, don't stress out. But if you have any concerns, it's always a good idea to chat with a hearing care professional or an audiology expert.

Absence of sound

It's quite common for the sound from a hearing aid to seem a bit low at first, making it feel like the sound is limited. But don't worry, this is all part of the plan. Hearing care professionals intentionally set the sound conservatively to help your ears slowly get used to hearing again without overwhelming them with too much volume. So, the first step is to let your ears reacclimate to hearing. And if you ever need extra reassurance, consulting with hearing experts can be extremely helpful.

Avoid these habits with hearing aids:

Moisture exposure

Most hearing aids are designed to be water-resistant, and you can easily find this information in the product data sheet. Water-resistant devices are built to withstand daily exposure to sweat and rain, protecting the device from accidental drops and splashes. However, it's important to note that while they offer some water resistance, these devices are not impervious to all conditions. They should not be used while swimming, especially in saltwater, as it can result in irreversible damage to the device.

In general, it's advisable to avoid using hearing aids in the shower, pool, or exposing them to water jets, as well as storing them in damp places. Excessive moisture can cause a hearing aid to stop working or require the replacement of important components, if not a complete replacement. Hearing aids are durable, but protecting their components is key to maintaining clear sound quality and using them for an extended period.

Hair dryer

To maintain the optimal functionality of your hearing aids, it's advisable to refrain from wearing them while using a hair dryer or visiting the hair salon. Both water splashes and the heat generated by the hair dryer can potentially harm the components, leading to a degradation in sound quality and potential damage to the device itself.

Lacquers, perfumes and sprays

It best not to spray lacquers, perfumes, and body mists while hearing aids as they can pose issues for both the external components and the internal structure. It is recommended to take precautions, including removing your hearing aids when using them or ensuring that these sprays do not come into contact with your hearing device.

Sleeping with hearing aids

While it might seem easy to sleep with your hearing aids, it's not the best idea. Your ears need some downtime for their natural cleaning process, and sleeping with them on can cause annoying whistling and sounds due to contact with your pillow. Instead, it's a good habit to clean your hearing aids briefly before bedtime, and leave the battery compartment open to prevent drainage and moisture buildup. In rare cases or during emergencies, it's okay to sleep with your hearing aids, but it's best to avoid doing it regularly as it can have consequences in the long term.

Repair hearing aids at home

If your hearing device stops working, it's vital not to try fixing it yourself. Even the toughest devices can be quite fragile, and DIY attempts could cause permanent damage. So, if you face any issues or malfunctions, it's best to visit your local store and seek advice from a specialist. Amplifon centres are conveniently located across the country, making it easy to find help, even when you're on vacation.

The importance of regular checks

Having regular check-ups with your audiologist is the key to great hearing. Our hearing abilities can change, especially as we get older, and these check-ups help catch and prevent issues. By adjusting your hearing aid to your current needs, you can keep hearing well and enjoying a vibrant, active life.

A woman taking a hearing test

Schedule your Amplifon clinic appointment today

The best way to treat hearing loss is through prevention. Make an appointment at one of our Amplifon clinics to have your hearing health checked. You will learn more about our hearing solutions and different types of hearing aids.

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