Troubleshooting hearing difficulties and hearing aid problems from home
COVID-19 has seen physical distancing and self-isolating at home become our new norm.
This advice is of particular importance to the elderly population, as they are at risk of more serious illness if infected with coronavirus. So for those with hearing impairment (an estimated 15.3% of the Australian population or 3.95 million people), and/or hearing aids and concerns about COVID-19, where does this leave you?
The current COVID-19 crisis has seen the world embrace technology to stay connected. Hearing health is no exception.
Being able to hear is of great importance so that you can stay connected to family, friends and work without the added stress, so having access to remote hearing care, or teleaudiology, is vital.
Teleaudiology has been around for a number of years; however, most have preferred the comfort of seeing their hearing specialist for a face-to-face appointment. However, the current crisis has highlighted how effective teleaudiology can be, if done correctly.
Teleaudiology allows for an assessment of hearing needs, recommendation of hearing aids, fitting and adjustment of hearing aids, and counselling. If you have concerns about how effective teleaudiology can be, hopefully this addresses any questions you may have:
For those who are unsure about hearing aids and their options, Value Hearing has a range of low contact, or no contact options to assess your hearing needs and offer solutions.
Alternatively, you can read about it in greater detail here: https://blog.valuehearing.com.au/news/online-hearing-aids-done-right-new-ways-to-get-your-hearing-improved-during-the-covid-19-crisis
For those who currently wear hearing aids, what are your options if you experience any issues with your hearing aids during this period of physical distancing and self-isolation?
Rest assured, there are a range of things you can do at home to troubleshoot your hearing aid issue.
Hearing aid not working or intermittent?
- Try changing the battery. If it still doesn’t work, try the battery from your other (working) hearing aid to see if it works.
- If that doesn’t work, try cleaning your hearing aid, starting with the ear piece (dome or earmould, whichever applies). For a dome, you may find that wax or debris can get caught in the tip and block the sound in the hearing aid. Most of the time, it is easily visible on closer inspection; however, sometimes it can be hard to see (especially if you are more prone to oil production in the ears, or have been using eardrops).
- If that doesn’t work, change (rather than clean) the hearing aid wax filter (Cerustop, Cerushield, ProWax etc).
- If your hearing aid still doesn’t work, contact Value Hearing. If you have a custom hearing aid and have tried steps 1-3, your hearing aid will need to be sent to the manufacturer (more on this later).
- For a receiver-in-canal hearing aid, if the hearing aid is simply not working (no sound at all on start-up) or intermittent, the issue could likely be the hearing aid receiver, which can be changed by you at home - we can post this part to you and forward some video and/or written instructions.
- If you do hear a start-up melody but no amplification following this, then the issue lies with the electronics in the main body of the hearing aid. This means that the hearing aid will need to be sent to the manufacturer. Fortunately, manufacturers have also been flexible in light of the COVID-19 crisis, and are allowing the end user to send their hearing aids directly to them, and will also courier the hearing aids directly back to you. You’ll be forwarded instructions on how to send your hearing aid directly to the manufacturer. If you require loan hearing aids, Value Hearing can assist where possible and offer to post pre-programmed loan hearing aids to you (you will be responsible for covering the postage costs). Alternatively, loan hearing aids can be pre-programmed to be collected at reception from one of our 9 clinics (by you or a family member or friend), avoiding an appointment.
Hearing aid has stopped streaming audio from your phone?
- Confirm that your hearing aids are paired and connected to your phone.
- Have you performed an operating system update on your phone recently? Sometimes this interrupts the existing Bluetooth pairings, so you will need to delete the existing pairing and re-pair.
- If that still doesn’t work, try restarting your mobile phone (turn it off and back on). Sometimes, you may need to delete the existing pairing, turn the phone off and back on, and then re-pair the hearing aid.
Hearing aid has stopped working with the phone app?
- Confirm that your hearing aids are paired and connected to your phone. For Phonak Marvel or Unitron Discover hearing aids, you will need a separate pairing for each hearing aid that is specific to the app, which is preceded by “LE_” under the Bluetooth connections in your phone.
- If everything is paired correctly and the app still doesn’t work, try deleting the existing pairings and re-pair.
- If this doesn’t work, delete the existing pairings, delete the app, turn your phone off and back on, reinstall the app, and re-pair the hearing aids.
For any issues not covered here, feel free to contact Value Hearing on 1800 157 429, or have a look at our range of videos to assist with hearing aid management here: Hearing Aid Troubleshooting, or our extensive blog archive which covers troubleshooting, pairing with mobile phones, pairing with apps in more detail here: Value Hearing Blog.