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Hearing Aid Care

A hearing aid is a battery powered electronic device which is designed to amplify environmental and speech sound in order to facilitate communication. It’s main components are; microphone, amplifier, earphone/speaker, and battery.

The microphone of hearing aid captures sound signal and converts sound into electricity before sends them to the amplifier. The amplifier boosts up the strength of the signal to make the sound louder and sends it to the earphone or speaker. The earphone/speaker changes electricity back into sound and sends into the ear.

Hearing aids can be classified into three types; analog, digital programmable and analog programmable. There are also various sizes of hearing aid such as behind the ear, in the ear and in the canal. The suitable size of hearing aid depends on the type and degree of hearing loss.

Hearing Aid Care And Maintenance

  1. Avoid exposing the hearing aids to heat and moisture. Hearing aids must be stored in a safe place at room temperature.
  2. Insert a new battery if the current battery is weak or dead.
  3. Clean the hearing aids carefully following the given instruction. Check if ear mould or hearing aid is plugged by wax or dirt.
  4. Never use hair spray or any related product while hearing aids are being worn.  
  5. Turn off the hearing aids when not in use.
  6. Store extra batteries out of the reach of children and pets.

Hearing Aid Troubleshooting

  1. If the hearing aid produces no sound out/ appear to be dead:
    • Factor: weak, dead or wrong size of battery.
      • Check the battery and put the fresh battery if the defect battery detected.
    • Factor: Battery in backward (wrong placement of positive and negative terminal).
      • Make sure the battery is inserted properly by identifying the correct terminal beforehand.
    • Factor: Ear mould blocked by wax or water
      • Check the ear mould. Use air blower to blow out any dirt that cause blockage in the ear mould or its tubing.
    • Factor: On/Off switch is in the OFF position or mic/telephone switch is in the telephone (telecoil) position.
      • Check the hearing aid and make sure put each switch in the correct position.
    • Factor: Blocked receiver port by dirt or wax (especially applies to in the ear (ITE) hearing aids).
      • Check the receiver port and replace wax guard or brush over the receiver port.
    • Factor: Blocked or dirty microphone port.
      • Listen to the sound through hearing aid. If the blockage occurs, noisy circuit sound produce by hearing aid still can be heard but no amplified sound.
  2. The hearing aid performance is inconsistent by works intermittently and fades.:
    • Factor: All the above factors. Broken ear mould tubing also can lead to this problem.
      • Check the tubing and have tubing changed.
  3. The hearing aid produces noisy whistling sound (feedback).
    • Factor: Ear mould too small or improper insertion of ear mould in the ear.
      • Push the ear mould firmly in the ear. If feedback still persists, change new ear mould.
    • Factor: Ear mould tubing becomes cracked or air leak between ear mould and hearing aid (tone hook)
      • Detach ear mould from hearing aid. Listen if the feedback ceases while placing finger over the end of the tone hook as it indicates broken tubing and need to be changed.
    • Factor: crack in tone hook.
      • Detach ear mould from hearing aid. Listen if the feedback continues while placing finger over the end of the tone hook. If yes, have tone hook replaced.
    • Factor: Excessive ear wax in the ear canal.
      • Otoscopic examination must be done prior to ear wax removal.
    • Factor: Broken receiver (speaker).
      • Turn down the volume at the lowest level and listen to the clarity of sound. If the sound distorted, change to new receiver.

Hearing aid consultation by the audiologist is available in any government hospital which provides audiological services. In addition, hearing aid services must be performed periodically to ensure it works at the best performance.

Last Reviewed : 10 October 2016
Writer : Norlinda bt. Misman
Translator : Aima Suhaily bt. Azhar
Accreditor : Siti Suriani bt. Che Hussin