Hearing Aid Repair and Maintenance
Hearing aids are tiny electronic devices that are covered in moisture coating for protection, but will still experience some break down over time. You can basically imagine that you are using your laptop for 16 hours a day in a steam room. In that scenario you wouldn't expect it to last very long.
Problems can occur due to physical damage, dust, debris or moisture build up, or simply due to age. If your hearing aid doesn't seem to be performing properly, and you have replaced the battery and cleaned the aids as best you can, bring it in to your specialist. Many issues can be fixed in office, or it can be sent away and repaired for free during your warranty period. It is better to deal with the problem as soon as it comes up, rather than becoming frustrated by waiting and trying to fix it yourself.
Common Hearing Aid Problems
Even with proper maintenance, problems can occur in your hearing aids over time. It is important to know what you can do at home and when to seek help from your hearing instrument specialist. If your hearing aid is making little or no sound, the first thing to do is check the wax guard or dome. These are the pieces that sit inside the ear canal and the most common issue is wax build up blocking the sound output. If you have cleaned the end and changed the wax guard, the next step is to check the battery. Even if your battery doesn't usually need changing at this point, some factors can cause them to drain faster than normal, so it is a good idea to change the battery. If there is still no sound, there is a more significant issue that will need to be addressed in clinic.
Many issues can be resolved by the clinician in house, usually in about fifteen minutes. If the problem cannot be resolved in the clinic, your hearing aid will be sent to the manufacturer at no charge if you are in warranty, and will generally take about a week, including shipping. If your warranty has expired, the expected cost of the repair will be discussed with you so that you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.
Repairing Your Hearing Aid
If you have current hearing aids that were not purchased in our office, we are still happy to take a look and try to resolve your issues. If it is a one time repair or cleaning, there will be no cost. If you wish to move your services to our clinic permanently, there will be a small service plan fee per hearing aid, per year. We are able to work with most makes of hearing aids, although if it is a brand we don't normally see parts may be unavailable or need to be ordered in.
If your hearing aid cannot be repaired in the clinic and is covered under the warranty, there will be no markup to send it away for repair. If your warranty has expired we will work with you to determine if a paid repair is the best solution, or if a new set of hearing aids more suited to your current hearing loss and lifestyle are more appropriate.
Maintaining Your Hearing Aid
When you are fit with your hearing aids, we will explain to you how to properly care for and maintain them. For the most part they should be inspected daily for wax build up or damage, usually first thing in the morning. The end that goes into your ear should be brushed clean, or scraped gently with the tools provided daily. Once a week you should also brush off the microphone ports on the faceplate or casing of the hearing aids. If you have regular batteries, be sure to open the battery doors every night to allow the aids to power down, and the interior to air out. If your hearing aids are rechargeable, ensure that they are placed in the charger every night before you go to bed to give you a full day's charge for the morning.