Hearing loss is the partial or total incapacity to perceive sounds due to various factors such as genetics and damage to hair cells in the ear. It can affect your life's quality, your career and how you relate with others. Fortunately, some treatments can improve your hearing, including hearing aids.

What is a hearing aid?

A hearing aid is an electronic gadget that amplifies sounds to enable a person with hearing loss to listen and communicate effectively. It also helps people in both noisy and quiet environments and allows them to engage fully in their daily activities. It works by sending sound to a microphone which converts it to electrical signals and transmits it to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the signal power and sends it to the ear via a speaker. 

There are different styles of hearing aids, and your ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor can determine the best choice for you. However, here are the most commonly used types: 

In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids

ITE hearing aids are placed in the outer bowl and are suitable for mild-to-severe hearing loss. They consist of concha devices, ear canal devices and completely-in-canal devices (CIC). The ITE device is made purposely to fit your ear shape, thereby offering discretion. 

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

BTE hearing aids rest behind the ear, with a tube that sends sounds down into the auditory canal through an earmold made to fit you. They’re suitable for people in any age range and for almost any type of hearing loss. Additionally, they’re more prominent and conspicuous than other hearing aids but can amplify sounds more than the others. 

In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids

ITC hearing aids are similar to ITE devices but are smaller, filling only the canal and not the whole concha. They’re custom fit and have a less obvious design model but are more noticeable than the CIC hearing aids. ITC devices are used to treat slight to moderate ear loss in adults. 

How do you know that your hearing aids need repair?

Like other electronic devices, you need to take care of your hearing aid to increase its longevity. However, damages can reduce its functions and quality. Here are certain clues to help to determine if your aid needs repair. 

Your hearing aids don’t work

When your hearing aid stops working, it could be because the batteries are dead. It could also be due to the tube that connects the earmold being blocked with earwax, inhibiting the sounds that come from it in the process. In this case, you should recharge or change your batteries or replace the tube and your hearing aid will be good as new. However, if you have done these things and it still doesn’t work, you need to see your ENT doctor for repairs. 

Your hearing aid makes a whistling or buzzing sound

If your hearing aid keeps making a persistent whistling or buzzing sound, you may not have fixed it properly or your ears are clogged with earwax. In this case, it will help to remove your hearing aid and position it well according to your ENT doctor’s recommendations. It’s best to clean out your ears. If the sound persists, you need to get your hearing aids fixed because it can be a sign of a fault. 

Your volume isn’t loud enough

When your hearing aids cannot amplify sounds although the volume is set to the maximum frequency, the tube might be the problem. Earwax condensation can muffle sounds and reduce the volume of your device. It will be best to have the tube fixed so the sound returns to normal. 

There are physical signs of damage on your hearing aid

Supposed your hearing aid falls by accident; you should check out for signs of physical damage. Should there be cracks on it, you should take it for repairs immediately, as they indicate that the fall's impact is profound, no matter how small they are. Failure to fix it might cause it to deteriorate even more. 

The quality of your hearing device is deteriorating

Maybe you feel that the overall quality of your device has reduced. Perhaps it doesn't amplify sounds like before, although you have fixed it. Possibly its physical condition is worsening or you keep hearing static noises. In these situations, you need to let your ENT doctor determine if it needs more repairs or you need a new hearing aid. 

Hearing aids can improve your hearing and ultimately your life's quality, which is why you need to take care of yours. Should you need hearing aid repair services or want a new one fitted for you, you can visit ENT Specialists PC or contact us today at (402) 983-9948.