The number one reason hearing aids “quit” working is because the wax filter that covers the speaker is clogged.
Hearing aids are manufactured with at least one microphone that receives the sound. The sound then exits the hearing aid(s) to your ear canal via a speaker, which our industry calls a receiver. The receiver is covered by a rubber dome (or tip) for the most common hearing aids.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids, that are used for severe to profound hearing loss, are normally manufactured with an ear mold and a clear open tube that exits the hearing aid. The speaker is built into the physical hearing aid. These hearing aids can get wax blockage anywhere from the end of the ear mold to the ear canal.
Completely-in-the-ear-canal hearing aids, which are commonly called “Customs,” also have microphones and speakers with a wax filter on the end. The wax filters are designed to capture the wax and to protect the speaker from damage.
Regardless of your hearing aid type, we recommend that you check your hearing aid’s wax filters weekly and change them as needed, which could be one month to every three or four months depending on your particular situation.
If you need help learning how to change your wax filters and clean your hearing aid(s), we suggest you watch the short “How to Clean your Hearing Device” video. Additionally, Starkey and Phonak, two of the most common hearing aid brands we sell, both have websites with excellent instructions on how to maintain and clean your hearing aids.
Finally, our Audiology Team is happy to help you with cleaning and replacing parts as needed. We recommend that you visit our clinic at least once every three or four months for a cleaning. We are here to help you hear better!
Article written by Ron Binkley, Board-certified Hearing Instrument Specialist for Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center