Three Ways Hearing Aids Can Malfunction

Man having troubles with his hearing aids while trying to communicate with his friend.

Have you ever had your internet cut just as you’re almost to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? You sit and watch that spinning circle instead of finding out who won that cooking competition. And so you just wait. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or perhaps it will just come back on its own? It’s not a very good feeling.

When technology breaks down, it can be really aggravating. Your hearing aids definitely fall into this category. Most of the time, your hearing aids will give you the means to remain connected to loved ones, have discussions with co-workers, and keep up with your neighbors.

But when they quit working, your hearing loss symptoms can suddenly become a lot more frustrating. You’ve been disappointed by the technology you count on. Why would your hearing aids just quit working? So how do you deal with that? Well, there are three common ways that hearing aids can fail, here’s how you can start to recognize and troubleshoot those issues.

Hearing aids can often have three common issues

Hearing aids are complex devices. Even still, there are some common problems that individuals with hearing aids may encounter. Let’s have a look at possible causes of these problems and potential fixes.

Feedback and whistling

So, maybe you’re attempting to have a chat with your family or watch your favorite show and you start to notice a dreadful whistling noise. Or maybe you detect a little bit of feedback. You begin to think, “this is strange, what’s up with this whistling”?

Here are three potential issues that could be causing this feedback and whistling:

  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be impacted by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll notice this comes up fairly often. Whistling and feedback are frequently one outcome of this type of earwax buildup. If possible, you can try clearing some earwax out of your ear or talk to us about the best method to do that (do not use a cotton swab).
  • The tubing that attaches the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can sometimes become compromised. Take a close look to see if the tube may have detached or might be compromised in some way.
  • Your hearing aids may not be sitting in your ears properly. Try to take them out and re-seat them. You can also try turning the volume down (if this works, you might find some temporary relief, but it also likely means that the fit isn’t quite right and you should speak with us about it).

If these problems aren’t easily resolvable, it’s worth speaking with us about correcting the fit or sending your device in for maintenance (depending on what we think the root cause of that whistling or feedback might be).

No sound coming from your hearing aids

Your hearing aids are supposed to make, well, sound. That’s their principal function! So if you find yourself thinking, “I can’t hear any sound in my hearing aid,” well, then something is certainly not right. So what could cause hearing aids to drop all sound? Here are a few things to look for:

  • Your settings: Cycle through the personalized settings if your device has them. Your hearing aids may think you’re in a huge room when you’re actually in a small room because the setting is wrong. The sound you’re hearing might be off as a result.
  • Power: Look, we’ve all disregarded turning the hearing aids on before. Check for this first. This possible problem can then be eliminated..
  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, be sure that they are completely charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be swapped out on occasion.
  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Have a close look to see if you discover any earwax on the speakers or microphone. Keep your device very clean.

If these steps don’t help with your issues, we might have the solution. We’ll be able to help you determine the next steps, and whether maintenance, repair, or replacement is needed.

Painful ears when you’re wearing your hearing aids

What if your hearing aids work perfectly, but every time you put them in your ears, your ears begin to hurt? And you’re likely thinking: why do my ears hurt when I wear my hearing aids? This sort of discomfort is not exactly conducive to using your hearing aids on a day-to-day basis. So, why do they ache?

  • Fit: The most obvious problem can be the fit. Needless to say, when the fit is nice and tight, your hearing aids will work best. Which means that there can occasionally be pain involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be customized to your particular ears. Over the long haul, you will have fewer issues if you have a snug fit. If you come in for a consultation, we can help you achieve the best fit for your device.
  • Time: Usually, it just takes a little while to get accustomed to your hearing aids. Each person will have a different adjustment period. It’s worth talking about when you purchase your hearing aids so you have a reasonable concept of how long it might take you to become comfortable with your devices. Also, talk to us about any discomfort you might be experiencing.

Bypass issues with a little test drive

Before you commit to a pair of hearing aids, it’s a smart idea to test them for a while. Most of the time we will have loaner pairs for you to try out before you make a decision.

In fact, we can help you identify the best type of hearing aid for your requirements, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you handle any extended issues you might have with your devices. In other words, when your devices quit working, you’ll have a resource that can help!

And that’s a lot more than you will get with an over-the-counter hearing aid!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.