If you suffer from hearing loss but are now benefitting from having a hearing aid, then good on you!
In the vast majority of cases, these devices will greatly improve your ability to communicate. But no system is failsafe and there may be occasions when they may need checking over. Here are a few issues that you may encounter early on in use, or as time goes by – each of which can be easily remedied.
If your hearing aid hasn’t been fitted correctly or may be clogged up with earwax, then you may well experience some feedback. It normally manifests as an annoying high pitched whistling sound, like you’d hear from microphones or amplifiers at a concert.
A little gentle cleaning of the device with a washcloth to remove any wax should do the trick, but if excessive earwax does keep accumulating in your ears, then consult your doctor.
If the feedback still persists even after a thorough cleaning, then it may be advisable to consult your hearing specialist to check the fitting. It’s good to know that the latest hearing aid technology contains feedback suppression circuits which should help solve the problem.
If your hearing aid produces static and starts making a crackling sound, then this is a strong indicator that the device is due a service or replacement.
It might be because of a low battery or due to moisture or dirt finding its way into the equipment. It may mean there is a problem with the amplifier, however. In any case, you should consult your hearing centre to sort out the problem. Walking around with static noise in your ears isn’t something you would wish to live with for long! For further information go to https://www.hearingcarecentres.co.uk/products/hearing-aids/
Too much noise
Initially, you may find the amplification in your hearing aids overwhelming. Even your own voice may sound loud and a little weird! That’s why it’s always recommended to experiment with your hearing aids, in a quiet environment initially, so you aren’t suddenly bombarded with too much noise. Build up your toleration gradually to noisier environments.
Also, understanding speech in noisy environments can be a common concern. To overcome this, some newer hearing aids have directional capabilities to help focus in on the sounds you’re facing and reducing background noises. Peripheral sounds can’t be blocked out altogether, however. Even with perfect hearing, there is always going to be some background noise.
If you are new to a hearing aid, but your hearing has been below par for a number of years, then initially it may take a while to reacquaint yourself with sounds that you haven’t heard properly in a long while. Hearing aids are designed to amplify sound, but it doesn’t mean to say you will hear them exactly as you once did with your own unaided hearing.
The brain takes between 30 and 90 days to properly acquaint to the way your ears hear with an aid. For this reason, it is usually recommended that you start off by only wearing your new device for a few hours at a time, to allow a period of adjustment. Even so, it’s estimated that as many as one in eight hearing aids don’t get used – because of unrealistic expectations. Try to ensure you are amongst the seven in eight who make a success of it!
We’d advise that you take your time to get used to your new aids – certainly for the first three months or so. Resolve to overcome any whistles and feedback, noise and the static, as perseverance can bring untold long term benefits.