How do I know when it's time to replace the speaker (receiver) on my RIC aids?

Audiologist in Prairie Village

26 August 2019 - 144 Views

Your audiologist should be able to definitively determine if the receiver wire should be replaced but some common symptoms are that the device is weak, faint, distorted, crackly or produces static, intermittent, or completely non-functional.  Obviously you want to rule-out other potential causes by changing the receiver filter and replacing/checking your hearing aid battery.  In some cases, there is significant wax/cerumen in the ear canal that needs to be removed.  
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Audiologist in Brooklyn

26 August 2019 - 143 Views

In general it is a good idea to have your HAs including your receivers / speakers checked every 6 mos to ensure they are working efficiently. If you notice the hearing aids are not as loud or clear as they usually are even before your semi-annual check, make an appointment to see your audiologist to check the speakers. These speakers are susceptible to damage due to moisture and debris/ cerumen in the ear canal which can effect efficiency. However, cleaning daily with brush, changing wax filters regularly and using a dri-aid kit or some other form of a dryer system that is for hearing aids can help to keep the speakers from breaking down. 
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Dr. Elly Pourasef, AuD

Hearing Healthcare Provider / Audiologist

27 August 2019 - 100 Views

If everything sounds fine, then you are fine- there's no "routine" receiver changing like there used to be with standard BTE tubing. If things sound weak or dead, change your wax filter (and domes/tips while you're at it). If at this point you have new filters, tips, and even batteries, and it still sounds dead/weak, THEN it may be time for your receiver/speaker to be changed. Your audiologist can take it from there. This should be a fairly quick fix in the office, and if under warranty then there will be no charge to you. If this is the issue but it's not under warranty, then you will just have to pay for a replacement speaker. If your provider determines that this is not the issue, then they will send it in for repair which could take up to 2 weeks and hopefully your audiologist will give you loaner aids in the meantime.

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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

26 August 2019 - 120 Views

If all  parts on the hearing aid are in good order including the mold or dome, wax filter and microphone openings and the hearing aid sounds weak, there's a good chance that the speaker (or receiver) needs to be replaced,   A test box can verify this.  Some hearing aids will actually alert you when there is a problem!  
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Joe Perez

Hearing Healthcare Provider

26 August 2019 - 124 Views

It should be extremely easy for you to identify if a receiver needs replacement. However you should first thoroughly clean your instruments and replace wax guards. Thereafter if your instrument sound quality is poor or staticy. It's quite possible you need a receiver..

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Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist in Boone

28 August 2019 - 80 Views

The receiver needs to be cleaned and checked all every office visit free of charge. Most often if and when it goes bad it will provide you sound. First make sure that the filter is cleaned and replaced regularly which will prevent the receiver from going bad. If in doubt, call your provider and have it checked out. 

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Danny L Ahrens

Hearing Healthcare Provider

27 August 2019 - 89 Views

When a patient comes into our office complaining of weak or poor quality sound, some maintenance is in order.  Is it one or both sides?  We remove the filter and before replacing with a new wax filter use a needle nose vacuum on the interior of the receiver.

This makes a surprising difference.  If after listening to the receiver/hearing aid with a stethoscope there is still a question, then an easy check is to pull a new receiver link out of stock and install.  See how the sound quality compares.  Takes a min.or so.  Then you can make a judgement whether a new receiver link is needed.  I might add that most patients, despite counseling, do not change wax filters frequently enough.   I encourage, if you are not sure change the filter.

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Carolynne Pouliot, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

26 August 2019 - 145 Views

We replace the speaker when the old one stops working. If it's dead or distorted.
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Discussion

Abram Bailey, AuD
Abram Bailey, AuD 26 August 2019

This is a case where the hearing aid test box can be especially useful. If we put a hearing aid into test mode and run an electroacoustic analysis (EAA), we should see results that are consistent with the specifications provided by the manufacturer, for a given model with a given speaker strength (decibel capacity, etc). If the EAA shows performance issues, we can replace the speaker and run the measurement again. If the EAA is still incorrect, we know the issue is with the microphone or some component between the mic and speaker. In these cases, the hearing aid would need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair. 

Running Real Ear Measurements (REMs) to ensure the hearing aid is providing the same output as was initially programmed at your hearing aid fitting is an alternative approach to verifying the integrity of your hearing aids and speakers, etc. However, this is less efficient and more time consuming than a simple EAA test, and may miss subtle distortions, etc. 

Lastly, a bad speaker can often be diagnosed as such through a listening check by the audiologist (checking for distortion, weakness, etc)... This approach is ok, but some form of verification of gain / output after speaker replacement is still advisable.

Vincent D
Vincent D 26 August 2019
There are a  number of reasons why a receiver/speaker should be changed. The most common of course are if the hearing aid has become weak or distorted or has stopped working all together. Other reasons may include stretched out or damaged wires. 
Chris Wahl
Chris Wahl 26 August 2019
When a hearing aid receiver breaks the amplified sound you hear is reduced or no longer audible. Of course, this problem could also be caused by a dead battery, or ear wax clogging the dome and wax guard. Change or charge the battery. Replace or clean the dome or earmold. Replace the wax guard. If the hearing aid is still dead or weak, contact your Audiologist. In my clinic, I test the function of your hearing aid very quickly by Real Ear Measures. If it’s broke we can replace it in the office.
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