Hearing Aids Can Fail in These Three Ways

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

Have you ever had your internet cut right as you’re getting to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? You sit there and watch that spinning circle instead of learning about who won that cooking competition. All you can do is wait around for it to come back. 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 malfunctions, it can be really aggravating. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. Most of the time, your hearing aids will provide you with 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 much more frustrating. The technology you’re counting on has let you down. How do hearing aids just quit working? So how do you deal with that? Well, there are three common ways that hearing aids can malfunction, here’s how you can start to recognize and troubleshoot those problems.

Three common issues with hearing aids (and some possible solutions)

Even though hearing aids are complex technology, people may experience three common problems with them. Here’s what might be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix them).

Whistling and feedback

Maybe you suddenly start to hear an awful high-pitched whistling while you’re attempting to have a conversation with a friend or family member. Or maybe you hear some feedback. You begin to think, “this is strange, what’s up with this whistling”?

Here are three possible problems that could be causing this feedback and whistling:

  • The tubing that connects the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can sometimes become compromised. Have a close look to see if the tube may have separated or may be damaged in some way.
  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be impacted by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll find this comes up pretty often. That includes making your hearing aid whistle or feedback. If possible, you can attempt to clean some earwax out of your ear or talk to us about the best way to do that (don’t use a cotton swab).
  • Your hearing aids may not be seated in your ears correctly. Try to remove them and re-seat them. If the fit isn’t correct you may need to come see us so we can help you get a better fit.

If these issues are not easily resolved, it’s worth speaking with us about adjusting the fit or sending your device in for servicing (depending on what we determine the underlying cause of that whistling or feedback may be).

No sound coming from your hearing aids

Your hearing aids are supposed to make, well, sound. That’s their principal function! Something has definitely gone wrong if you can’t hear any sound coming out of your hearing aid. So what could be the cause when hearing aids work but no sound comes out? Here are a few things to look for:

  • Batteries: Be sure your batteries are completely charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it might be worth switching them out for fresh ones.
  • Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Have a close look to see if you discover any earwax on the speakers or microphone. You want to make certain the device is nice and clean.
  • Your settings: If you have them, flip through your custom settings. It’s feasible your hearing devices are on the wrong custom setting (so maybe your hearing aids think you’re in a gymnasium instead of around the kitchen table). The sound you’re hearing might be off as a result.
  • Power: Everybody forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Check for this first. This possible problem can then be eliminated..

If these steps don’t correct your problems, we may have the solution. Whether repair, maintenance, or replacement is your next step, we will be capable of helping you figure that out.

Painful ears when you’re wearing your hearing aids

Maybe your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when they’re in your ears. And you’re likely thinking: why do my ears ache when I use my hearing aids? You’re not as likely to wear your hearing aids every day if they hurt your ears. So, why do they ache?

  • Fit: The fit of the device is the most evident issue. After all, most hearing aids work best when the fit is nice and snug. So when your hearing aids aren’t fitting very well, there can be some discomfort. Some hearing aid models can be fit to the distinct shape of your ears. The better the fit, the fewer issues you’ll have with discomfort over the long haul. 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. How long it takes will depend on the individual. It’s worth talking about when you purchase your hearing aids so you have a realistic idea of how long it might take you to become comfortable with your devices. Also, talk to us about any discomfort you might be experiencing.

Take your new hearing aid out for a test ride

Before you decide on a set of hearing aids, it’s a good plan 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 kind of hearing aid for your needs, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you take care of any ongoing problems you might have with your devices. In other words, when your devices stop 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.