Modern hearing aids are pretty hardy pieces of technology. Refinements over time have led manufacturers to a plethora of best practices that allow hearing aids to physically last as long as the technology within is still viable. In general, this means 3–7 years. That range is so wide because individual differences in body chemistry, lifestyle, maintenance practices, and the climate where they are worn will all contribute to a longer or shorter lifespan.
Hearing aids are an example of miniaturized technology. This means they fulfill a function that is normally handled by larger components. From the computers inside to the speakers, microphones, amplifiers, and batteries, we ask a lot from a very small package! Then to top it off, we expose this equipment to a moist environment and the open-air daily. It’s no wonder our hearing aids will require a repair from time to time.
If something is wrong with one of your hearing aids, it’s important to get to the bottom of it! Continuing to use your hearing aid without correcting the problem can make it much worse over time. You should bring your hearing aid in for repair as soon as possible if:
- You have attempted to resolve the issue yourself but it persists.
- Your hearing aid is using batteries faster than normal.
- The audio from your hearing aid sounds distorted, too quiet, or muffled.
- There is visible damage to your hearing aid.
- The body of your hearing aid is cracked, chipped, or has heat damage.
- Your hearing aid is “whistling” (feeding back). This may mean a new custom earmold is required, especially if your weight has changed significantly since the time your ear molds were made.
- The tubes for your BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids are damaged or worn out. This repair can be made quickly, while you wait.
Florida is one of the most humid states in the US. On average, we experience 87% humidity in the morning and 57% in the afternoon. Unfortunately, moisture is the enemy of hearing aids. It finds its way inside them no matter what we do, and it tends to accumulate, once there. Over time, it will rust the delicate, tiny metal parts inside, leave mineral deposits, and/or short-circuit the tiny electronics. In fact, about 60% of out-of-warranty repairs are made due to moisture damage.
While it’s impossible to keep our hearing aids out of the humidity while we wear them, it’s important to help them get as dry as possible while we’re not wearing them. Always remember to wipe your hearing aids with a clean, dry cloth when you take them out. Remove the batteries and leave the battery doors open overnight. This will help moisture escape. It may also be worth investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier to help them evacuate even more moisture.
Rechargeable and Bluetooth options are becoming more popular. Rechargeable hearing aids do not require a battery door, while Bluetooth hearing aids can be controlled via smartphone and therefore do not require surface-mounted controls. This allows manufacturers to make hearing aids that are more water-resistant than ever. Phonak even makes a waterproof model in their Paradise platform, which can withstand submersion. While we do not recommend exposing your hearing aids to water unnecessarily—even if they are water-resistant—these new options can help keep moisture damage at bay.
We are here to support you and your hearing aids, and we also want to ensure that your hearing aids last for as long as possible. Here are some regular maintenance you can do that will help prolong the life of your devices:
- Remove your hearing aids while applying makeup, hair spray, sun lotion, perfume, and aftershave as these substances may enter the device and cause damage.
- Use a soft cloth, tissue, or suitable cleaning tool to clean your hearing aids to avoid earwax, dirt, or moisture. Do not use water or solvents because this can cause damage to your devices.
- When not in use, store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place and leave the battery pack open to conserve battery power.
- Clean the receiver tube and the receiver dome using a damp cloth.
Here are some other tips to consider:
- Never immerse hearing aids in water or other liquids or wear them while showering, swimming, in heavy rain, or a warm environment, such as a steam bath or sauna.
- Leave wet hearing aids to dry with the battery door open.
- Store the hearing aid and battery overnight in a sealed container with a drying agent (desiccator). Do not use the hearing aids until dry.
- Do not leave the hearing aids in direct sunlight or heat.
- Do not handle hearing aids loosely or drop it on hard surfaces or floors.
- Change the battery
- Remove and reinsert your hearing aid
- wipe your hearing aid with a cloth
- Replace the filter which catches wax
- Open and close the battery compartment
- Have a look at your input settings
If you've tried those tips and your hearing is still out of action, we're happy to help. When something goes wrong, we will help you repair common problems with your hearing aid or set up yourself with our repair services. We serve all the brands, even those we don't carry, so we can help you get the most out of your products if you bought your hearing aids from a big box store or online.
Repair costs for hearing aids can vary based on many factors:
- Whether your hearing aid is still under warranty.
- The degree to which the hearing aid is damaged.
- How much any replacement parts will cost.
If you purchased your hearing aid from TruEar Hearing and it's still under warranty, the cost of replacing your hearing aid will be insignificant. If the device requires a more significant repair, it can cost more. Cracked cases on custom designed products can be costly to patch, but such cracks can be mended in certain circumstances.
A hearing aid can be damaged beyond repair, just like any electronic device. In this situation, it is typically better to replace the hearing aid with a new model. But how do you know that your hearing aid is beyond repair?
You should typically conclude that your hearing aid is beyond repair if:
- Your hearing aid is five years old or older. Hearing aids have a life expectancy of 5-7 years. If your hearing aid is older than this, it may be time to retire it.
- The damage is visible.When your hearing aid is stepped on or broken, it may not be fixable.
- You have repaired it many times in the past.While a new hearing aid can cost more upfront, the routine maintenance of an old model can be more trouble than it is worth.
If you are looking for hearing aid repair services, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.
TruEAR: The Difference Is Clear
At TruEAR, we repair hearing aids of all makes and models, whether you’ve purchased them from us or elsewhere. In many cases, we can complete a repair and return your hearing aids to you—professionally cleaned and good as new—in as little as one day.
Sometimes a more serious problem requires the hearing aid to be returned to the manufacturer. In these cases, we will have to factor in shipping time and the manufacturer’s own schedule into the length of time that may be required before your hearing aids are returned to you. This may take up to two weeks. We know it is hard to be without your hearing aid for a significant length of time, but having a perfect, working hearing aid is well worth the wait!