Of Beeps and Batteries: When Things Go Wrong with a Hearing Aid

Of Beeps and Batteries: When Things Go Wrong with a Hearing Aid

Hoping everyone had a happy holidays and is ready for 2017 to arrive!

I thought I’d break my small holiday hiatus and chime in with a recent hearing aid malfunction–easy to look back on it, but really stressful in the moment. For me, the difference is being able to converse and hear relatively normally, or no distinguishable sound at all.

I just turned 30 this month, and for my birthday, my husband and I went out to dinner and to see “A Christmas Carol” at the famous Ford’s Theatre in DC. The day before, I had noticed my hearing aid did its ‘low battery’ beep a few times in a loud situation, and figured I had a weird battery, as I’d just changed it that morning. Changed it right before leaving for the evening, and while on Metro, had my sound cut out completely a few times without warning, a few seconds each time. Sometimes I had to open/close the battery door to get it back. Now THAT was weird, and it only got worse from there. I would hear half of what the waitress said, and mid-sentence, total loss of sound. Probably happened at least 100 times in a couple of hours. Not only was it strange in terms of hearing, but it also threw off my talking! My husband ended up having to pick up the end of my sentences to order my food.

Still had a great dinner, but I was really worried about my hearing aid! I figured I’d have to go to the audiologist, and who knows what they could do to fix it? I was on my second battery with issues, so it couldn’t be the batteries, right?

Wrong. It WAS the batteries. At Ford’s Theatre, I carried out a last-ditch resuscitation effort by ducking into the bathroom to closely inspect my aid and see if I could do ANYTHING. I had one extra spare battery (different brand) in my purse, and thought it was worth a shot to change it out yet again. Voila! It was immediately fixed. I got to enjoy the play after all!

The culprit was a bad pack of Energizer batteries, and my theory is, for some reason, they couldn’t make full contact on the inside, so that’s why my sound would bobble in and out. I’ll give them credit, after I pointed the situation out on Twitter, they responded pretty quickly. They asked me to call in, and I got a partial coupon/refund for an 8-pack, which I’ll probably use, but I’ll be a little wary to use the brand from now on without a dry run at home.

In the end, I’m glad it was just the batteries and not the aid itself, but it was one of those stressful occasions that reminded me just how dependent I am on all parts of the technology working correctly!

Have you had any recent hearing aid malfunctions?


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