Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Wonderful Sound of Feedback

Nolan's left hearing aid hasn't been producing the right level of feedback. Instead of a highly annoying shrill, it was a barely audible warble, indicating something was a tad off. I did a listening check, changed the batteries, and cleaned the earmolds completely. The hearing aid was still not functioning properly, causing my heart to sink as we approach the end of the one-year warranty.

I finally tried replacing the microphone filter, and voila! Feeback is restored. Big relief on this end, because I wasn't looking forward to repair costs or replacement costs when the aid is only one year old. For future reference, here is "Hearing Aid Diagnostics, 101."

If you notice a reduced volume during a listening check or a reduction in feedback noise, check the following:

  • Batteries. Sometimes the battery is a dud and the fix is as simple as replacing it with a new one. Checking battery strength on a battery monitor will verify it has enough charge to power the aid.
  • Earmolds. Any occlusion of wax or debris will affect the aid. If necessary, the earmold may have to be removed and washed with a warm, soapy liquid. Ensure the mold has been dried thoroughly before reattaching it to the aid.
  • Tubing. If the tubing is occluded by wax, the aid may not work. If the tubing is cracked or not sealed properly, it may need to be replaced. Check the tubing for moisture, as this can also cause hearing aid dysfunction.
  • Moisture. If the hearing aid has been exposed to a humid environment, such as the interior of your child's mouth, the aid may malfunction. Placing the aid into a drying canister or a Dry and Store overnight may solve the problem.
  • Microphone. If the filter is blocked by debris, the aid may not function properly. Replacing the filter or cleaning the filter will allow for proper amplification. If the said debris is playdough and some other unidentifiable blue material, skip the cleaning and go right to replacing.

If the aid is still not functioning properly, a trip to the audiologist is in order. We see the audiologist on the 8th for replacement earmolds, and I'll probably have her check the aid just to verify it is still amplifying to the pre-set levels.

5 comments:

MB said...

Time to extend your warranty while it's on your mind! Some of our friends have one with http://www.earserv.com/

leahlefler said...

Good idea- I need to look into it. I wish they had the prices on their website, though! I hate having to use the phone (yep, that lazy).

Julia said...

We LOVE the Dry&Store! We put Ben's HA in every night, and his CI headpiece and cable in every other night. One time his headpiece fell off his head -- right into the glass of water I was carrying in my other hand. It wouldn't work after that (microphone was sopping wet), but one night in the Dry&Store and it was good as new.

leahlefler said...

Goodness, Julia- I would have had a heart attack! I hope CI's have warranties, too. They're a lot more expensive than HA's!

Kristen said...

I never thought to check the filter...good tip! Your boys are beautiful!