5 Troubleshooting Tips For Hearing Aid Volume and SoundPublished On: 18th November 2018
Last Updated On: 19th November 2018
Your hearing aid worked perfectly a few minutes ago, and now the sound is gone…It worked yesterday…What happened to the volume; it disappeared? Are these familiar scenarios to you? Do you wonder if the hearing aid is broken? Before, you take your hearing aids in for repairs, here are some troubleshooting tips on how to identify the issues. Often you can fix the volume or sound issue without needing to take your hearing aids in for repairs.
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Check these 5 troubleshooting tips; it may save you a trip to the audiologist.
Switch Hearing Aid Off and On
How often has a computer or mobile phone been updated with software only to malfunction after the update? The computer worked perfectly, and now the keyboard isn’t working properly, or you can’t open your email app. How many times has the sound disappeared after a mobile update, or the screen is stuck, and nothing happens. You can’t get out of the app, and you can’t move forward.
When this happens, what is the first thing you do? For those of you who like playing games, you’ll be shouting like a chorus, “Reboot! Reboot.” Rebooting is the quickest way to solve many electronic issues. For some wonderful reason, the cause is rectified by resetting the computer or mobile phone.
The hearing aid is also an electric device. In the same way that you solve issues by switching your computer or mobile on and off, often that is all the hearing aid needs. If you accidently bumped against the hearing aids settings, the switching on and off often resets the settings.
The sound that suddenly disappeared or the volume that is too soft sometimes needs a reboot. Switching the hearing aid off and then on again is the first step. If this doesn’t solve the volume and sound, then try these 4 tips.
Check The Volume Control
For those who listen to the radio, know how disturbing interference over the radio could be. If the radio dial isn’t set to the correct frequency, the radio channel sounds distort. Sometimes the sound of the hearing aid gives that same disturbance; you wish it had a tuning nob like the radio to get it back on the channel.
Your hearing aids actually do have a way to get rid of that distorting sound. That distorting interference could be because the hearing aid volume is set too loud for your needs.
Slowly decrease the volume slightly or until the sound is back again. By moving the volume control a notch lower, you’ve created the same effect as tuning the radio frequency to the right channel.
Perhaps the sound wasn’t distorted because the volume was set too high, but the opposite happened. The sound disappeared, and you know it’s not the battery because you recently replaced the battery.
Check if the volume control wasn’t moved to off or a too low volume. Simply increase the volume and see if the sound improves.
You may wonder how this could happen; you didn’t even touch your hearing aids. Most of the times it happens unintentionally. You could’ve combed your hair or adjusted your glasses and accidently bumped against the volume control. Sometimes it happens with moving your head against an object. It’s like adjusting your glasses because it shifted slightly.
Check The Hearing Aid Settings
As mentioned before, accidently bumping the hearing aids and changing the settings can easily happen.
If adjusting the volume control didn’t solve the issue, check all the settings. Your audiologist programmed your hearing aids according to your needs. Although these settings are fixed, it could happen that a setting changed.
Before you contact your audiologist, switch your hearing aid off and on again. Most hearing aids are designed to revert to the programmed settings when switched on. It means that if you accidently changed the settings or volume, switching the device on and off will solve the issue. The hearing aid simply resets itself.
The Battery Affects the Sound
If it wasn’t the volume control, then check the battery. The battery affects the hearing aid sound and volume in various ways.
A dead battery may be the cause of sound disappearing suddenly. Most hearing aids give warning sounds when the battery life is almost gone. A slow decrease in the sound levels often accompanies the warning as the battery’s life decreases until it dies.
Replacing the dead battery with a fresh battery will restore sound immediately if a dead battery was the cause.
It may be that there’s nothing wrong with the battery, but it was placed incorrectly in the casing. Simply remove the battery, switch it around, and place it back. It is easy to insert the battery the wrong way around. Many hearing aid wearers can replace batteries with their eyes closed. They don’t have to look; inserting a new battery has become second nature.
You do it so automatically that you’re not always focused on inserting the battery. You may insert it the wrong way around. Then your hearing aid won’t function at all, and you won’t hear any sound.
Before you replace the battery, make sure you have inserted it correctly.
How do you know the battery is the cause?
A live battery emits a whistling sound. Remove the hearing aid and place your hand loosely around it. If you hear a whistling sound, the battery is working. If the whistling sound is too soft for you to hear; ask someone to check it for you.
Tubing Causes Sound Issues
The tubing is often the culprit in affecting the sound quality but is not the obvious solution that comes to mind. For the sound to move through the hearing aid system, the tubing needs to be whole. A cracked, hard or tubing with a tiny hole will drastically influence the sound quality.
The cracked and hard tubing needs to be replaced. Usage and the weather affect the material the tubing is made of. The tubing hardens with age and cracks occur.
Wet weather and moisture in the air may be the cause of moisture entering the tubing. It is important to remember this especially during rainy seasons and wet winters. Moisture in the tubing will result in loss of sound. Pump air with the small handheld pump through the tubing until the moisture has evaporated.
Ear wax may enter the tubing or earmold and decrease the volume and sound of the hearing aid. Clean the tubing and wait until completely dry before you attach it to the casing.
Tubing issues are common with behind the ear hearing aids. The tubes are longer than inside the ear hearing aids because it connects ear mold in the ear with the hearing aid casing behind the ear. The tubing is outside and is easily affected by the environment.
Takeaway and Conclusion
As a hearing aid wearer, you are sensitive to sound and any change in your hearing. Therefore, if the volume or sound changes suddenly for no apparent reason, you could panic or worry. Your first thought may be that there is something wrong with the hearing aids. Silently you fear your hearing has worsened and although you don’t want your hearing aid to break, rather that than your own hearing.
The above troubleshooting tips showed that most of the time a sudden volume or sound issue could be fixed quickly and easily. Most of the time it is a simple cause with a simple solution that requires checking a few things.
Next time if your hearing aid volume distorts or the sound disappears, go through these 5 troubleshooting tips.
- Switch the hearing aid off and on again. Sometimes that’s all that is required to restore sound.
- Check if the volume of the hearing aid is set too loud. By decreasing the volume, the distorted sound caused by too high volume will disappear.
- Check if the hearing aid volume control was accidently pushed to a too low sound level. By increasing the volume, the sound will be perfect again.
- Resetting the hearing aid will fix any settings that were accidently changed.
- If your battery is whistling when you place your hearing aid in your cupped hands, then it’s not dead.
- Check if the hearing aid battery was placed correctly inside its casing. If not, change the battery around and insert it again.
- Moisture in the tubing will affect the sound quality and volume. Remove the moisture.
- Check the tubing for ear wax and clean the tubing.
- Tubing that is hard or cracked needs to be replaced.
If none of these tips helped to improve the sound quality, then take your hearing aid in for repairs. If you feel uncertain about any of these troubleshooting tips, be safe and take the hearing aid to a professional. Don’t take chances, if you think it could be your hearing, make an appointment for a consultation with your ear, nose, and throat specialist.