If you wear a receiver-in-the-canal style hearing aid then this is a helpful blog for you! If your hearing aid is giving you weak sound or has suddenly stopped producing any sound at all, it is likely that your receiver is broken or dying. You might be asking yourself, “what the heck is the receiver?!”, and really it’s just the technical name for the thin, clear wire that connects your behind the ear portion of your hearing aid to the part that is worn in the ear.
Receivers can be finicky, they don’t like moisture and are susceptible to being overly bent when you’re putting your hearing aid in and out of your ear. Luckily, when there is an issue with your receiver it is something that can be done at home on your own if you have the right tools and knowledge!
The first thing you need to know is the brand and model of hearing aid you wear. Different brands have different receiver types and sometimes different models of the same brand can even have different types of receivers. The other thing you need to know is the size of the receiver you wear. Typically it is the same for each ear. They come in a range of sizes that include either a S, M, or P and a number 0 through 4. The letter corresponds to the level of hearing loss you have while the number corresponds to the length of your ear. So I, as a young person with normal hearing, wear a 1S when trying out hearing aids.
You can find out this information from the hearing healthcare professional you purchased your hearing aids from, or you can just look at the end of the receivers you are wearing. If you take off the custom ear mold or silicone dome that goes in your ear from the end of the receiver there is a small grey or silver rectangular box, it will be labeled with either blue (left ear) or red (right ear) letters and numbers which will be the size that you wear.
Once you have a new receiver in the correct size you are ready to go! Many hearing aid brands such as Widex, Signia, Rexton, Oticon, and Starkey are as easy as pulling the old receiver out of the behind the ear portion of the hearing aid. It takes a little force so don’t be afraid to pull, but be careful not to twist around the receiver as it could break! Other brands such as Resound, Phonak, and Unitron need a little tool to unlock the receiver so that it can be pulled out. There is a little pin that holds the receiver in place which needs to be pushed out, once it is removed the receiver can be pulled out and replaced, then you can stick the pin back in and wah-la! Your hearing aid should be back working at full volume and your problem should be solved. If not then it is time to make an appointment with your hearing healthcare provider so they can take a look at the aid or send it in to the manufacturer.
And if you don’t have a provider near you we are happy to help at Hears to U and Hears Hearing & Hearables. Give us a call or send us an email.