First, I'm make sure it is a problem with the documents, and not with Word:
Create a new document, type in a paragraph, and format it in "Heading 1".
Then select a few characters in that paragraph and format those as "Heading
Word has now created a character style (Char/Link style) "Heading 2 Char",
but displays the paragraph style "Heading 2" instead.
If you should see "Heading 2 Char" in the style dropdown or the taskpane,
it's likely a problem in Word.
You might try "Detect and Repair" from the help menu.
In case it's a problem with some documents only, you could try to get rid of
the Char styles with a macro.
You may loose some formatting, though.
' The formatting that was done by the Link style is removed, too!
Dim myStyle As Style
For Each myStyle In ActiveDocument.Styles
If myStyle.Type = wdStyleTypeCharacter Then
If myStyle.LinkStyle <> _
' MsgBox myStyle.LinkStyle
myStyle.LinkStyle = _
' To only remove Char styles:
' If Right(myStyle.NameLocal, 4) = "Char" Then
' End If