February 2, 2011

Why Do Hearing Aids Need to be Repaired so often?

By Janet Liddicoat, Au.D., CCC-A
Audiology Consultants, P.C.

The number of times a hearing aid has to go to the company for repair varies greatly from person to person. There are many factors that can affect the number of repairs each hearing aid needs. Hearing aids are small devices with very small electronics. The in the ear hearing aids tend to be affected by wax from the ear more than the behind the ear. The reason for that is that all the electronics are sitting in the ear with the wax in your canal. The wax is going to try to naturally move out of your ear, and it will be stopped by the hearing aid. To help prevent the wax from causing damage it is advised to clean the hearing aids every day. Cleaning the wax out of the hearing aid every day can decrease the chances of needing to send it for repair. If you are not sure how to clean your hearing aids ask your audiologist to review the procedure with you.

Behind the ear hearing aids are not affected by wax as much because all the electronics of the instrument are behind your ear. This helps prevent damage from wax but can increase possible moisture damage. When we sweat it tends to run down our hairline by our ears and could possibly get into that hearing aid. To help prevent moisture damage from sweating, it would be advised to not wear the hearing aid during that activity, such as running or gardening. Another option would be to purchase a little sweatband for hearing aids. This will help absorb the sweat and keep it out of the hearing aids. If it is a situation where you must wear your hearing aids while heavily sweating, a good investment would be a hearing aid drying kit. It is a little jar with desiccant beads that help pull the moisture out of the hearing aid. All you have to do is put the hearing aid in the jar every night. This will help prolong the life of that hearing aid. For more information, please contact your audiologist.

Hearing aids can also be fragile and accidents do happen. They are durable for normal wear in your ear every day, but if they are dropped on the ground they don’t do as well. When they are dropped the case on the hearing aid can brake or crack. The electronic components on the inside of the hearing aid may also loosen or become disconnected. This can require the hearing aid to be sent to the company for repair and possibly a remake of the case. A way to prevent your hearing aid from being dropped is to always change the battery over a table or counter. This way if you do drop the hearing aid it has a smaller distance to drop and is also less likely to get stepped on.

There are many other reasons why hearing aids need to go in for repair, but these are the main three I see on a daily basis. Please talk with your audiologist about ways to care for and maintain your hearing aids.

Filed Under: Finance, Health & Wellness

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