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People who use hearing aids should follow a regular maintenance routine. This can help prevent the need for repairs and prolong the device’s life. Sometimes, people may have to take their hearing aid to a repair company or upgrade to a new device that may offer new features.
This article explores some common hearing aid issues and companies that offer repair services. It also provides some tips for maintaining hearing aids and when a person should consider upgrading their device.
Sometimes, hearing aids may not work properly due to the following issues:
- Earwax buildup: A buildup of earwax can clog the ports of a hearing aid, causing weak or dead sound. Individuals may consider cleaning the device after each use, or replacing the connector tube and wax guard if necessary. Learn how to remove an earwax blockage at home, here.
- Feedback: Hearing aids can produce feedback when a person rubs something against them. This causes sound amplification, which results in a high-pitched or squealing sound. To avoid this, a person can turn on their device after it is in their ear, and ensure it fits correctly.
- Battery issues: If a person’s hearing aid has a damaged battery, this may be because the battery is not placed properly, and there is a faulty wire. If it is a complex issue, individuals may have to replace the battery compartment. Learn about hearing aid batteries here.
- Hook damage: This refers to the part of the hearing aid that fits around the ear. If it has become damaged, the hearing aid may not hold in place, and the user may have to replace it with a new one.
- Moisture concerns: Excessive moisture can cause damage to the device. An individual should consider removing their hearing aid before showering or swimming, and wiping the sweat off if they sweat profusely.
According to the Michigan Audiology Coalition (MAC), following a regular maintenance routine can extend a hearing aid’s life span and reduce the chances of malfunction.
However, if a hearing aid is not functioning properly, an audiologist may have to repair it in the office or send it to the manufacturer or repair company.
If the hearing aid does not fit, it may require a new earmold impression. If it is not working and there is no earwax buildup, the audiologist may check whether there have been changes in the user’s hearing that are affecting the effectiveness of the device.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.
HearingLife manufactures behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-ear hearing aids and offers repairs on-site. Company representatives may return defective products to the manufacturer if there is a complex issue.
Customers who bought their device from HearingLife can contact its representatives to check whether the product’s warranty applies. Those who made their purchase from another company may have to contact the manufacturer directly.
HearingLife has an average rating of 1.63 out of five stars with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The organization gives the company an A+ rating.
Customers state that the company representatives were able to repair their hearing aids on the same day they requested the appointment. However, some also mention that they could not afford the company’s repair services.
Please note: All the BBB review statistics are correct at the time of publishing this article.
HearSource claims it repairs hearing aids by all brands.
It states that if the hearing aid’s processor is damaged, it may be unable to repair it. If the device is new, the company may forward it to the original manufacturer to determine whether the chip is replaceable. However, if the hearing aid is old, the manufacturer may no longer stock the same component.
HearSource has a five-star rating on BBB. Reviews focus on the quality of the company’s repair services.
HearSource offers three packages for repairing hearing aids. In ascending order of cost, they are:
- Hearing Aid Programming Service: This includes hearing aid adjustments and programing of accessories.
- Standard Hearing Aid Repair: The package includes a complete inspection, diagnosis, and repair or replacement of damaged parts. It also comes with a 6-month warranty.
- Premium Hearing Aid Repair: This package includes a complete inspection, diagnosis, and repair or replacement of defective components. Customers choosing this package also receive a 12-month warranty.
The standard and premium packages also have a rush service, which is available at an additional charge.
Sound Relief Hearing Center can repair all hearing aid styles from various manufacturers.
People can visit one of the company offices, where representatives can check how the device fits on the customer’s ears. According to the company website, in most cases, the devices may require a quick fix at no cost.
The product warranty ranges between 1 and 3 years. The length of the warranty period depends on the original manufacturer or audiologist from whom a person purchased their hearing aid.
In addition, the BBB gives Sound Relief Hearing Center a rating of 4.94 out of five stars, with positive reviews focusing on customer service and the quality of repair and reprogramming services.
The company states that it may be unable to adjust the hearing aid’s software, as only the manufacturer may be able to do so. If in doubt, customers can check with the company from which they bought the device.
Levine Hearing has a rating of 4.97 on the BBB website. Review authors praise the customer service and mention that the representatives were available for urgent orders.
The Heuser Hearing Institute (HHI) offers some hearing aid maintenance tips. These include:
- Daily cleaning: People may use a soft, dry cloth. A cleaning kit may help clean hard-to-reach areas. Dehumidifiers may also be useful, as they ensure that the device does not contain moisture.
- Replacing parts: This depends on the type of hearing aids a person owns, as they may have to replace batteries, wax guards, tubing, or wax filters. It may be helpful to have some spare components to use when necessary.
- Keeping it dry: This may help lower the chance of malfunction. In addition, it may be helpful to remove the hearing aid before applying perfume, hair spray, makeup, or shaving cream, as these can also damage the circuit.
- Taking batteries out before bed: This can extend the battery life and prevent an accidental use of the device.
- Troubleshooting: Before a person visits a hearing aid specialist for repairs, they should check the device for minor issues, as these can cause malfunction. Audiologists may remove and replace the battery and other parts, as well as clean the battery compartment and check its programming settings.
BTE hearing aids often come with a drying kit that people can use for drying the device’s battery every night. This helps the hearing aid dry and reduces the likelihood of malfunction.
People should keep the hearing aids away from heat, as it can damage the circuit.
According to MAC, people should consider getting new hearing aids if their devices are older than 5 years or if they have already had them repaired in the past.
HHI states that after 3–5 years, manufacturers add new features to improve an individual’s hearing and communication experience. For example, new devices may have Bluetooth connectivity for smart devices.
They may also have adaptive dual microphones that offer ear-to-ear internal communications so that the device can adjust automatically depending on the environment.
A regular maintenance routine can extend the life span of a hearing aid and prevent the need to use repair services.
People who still have problems with their hearing aids should check different companies that offer repair services. They can compare their features and check the models that they can repair.