Hearing Aids Can Malfunction 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 just as you’re getting to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? Instead of finding out who won the baking show, you have to watch a never-ending spinning circle. And so you just wait. Perhaps it’s your modem, might be your router, possibly it’s the internet provider, or maybe it’ll just fix itself. It’s not a great feeling.

Technology can be tremendously aggravating when it doesn’t work correctly. Your hearing aids definitely fall into this category. Most of the time, your hearing aids will provide you with the means to stay connected to loved ones, have conversations 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. The technology you’re counting on has failed you. How do hearing aids just stop working? So what can you do? Well, there are three prevalent ways that hearing aids can fail, here’s how you can begin to identify and troubleshoot those problems.

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

Even though hearing aids are sophisticated technology, individuals might experience three common issues with them. Let’s have a look at possible causes of these issues and potential fixes.

Feedback and whistling

Maybe you suddenly begin to hear a terrible high-pitched whistling while you’re attempting to have a chat with a friend or relative. Or maybe you hear some feedback. You begin to think, “this is weird, what’s up with this whistling”?

Feedback and whistling can be caused by these possible problems:

  • Your hearing aids might not be sitting in your ears properly. Try taking them out and putting them back in. If the fit isn’t correct you might need to come see us so we can help you get a better fit.
  • For people who use behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that connects your earmold with your hearing aid might have become compromised. Try to examine this tubing as closely as you can and make sure nothing is loose and the tube does not appear damaged.
  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be affected by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll notice this comes up fairly often. That includes causing your hearing aids to whistle or feedback. If possible, you can attempt to clean some earwax out of your ear or consult with us about the best way to do that (don’t use a cotton swab).

Depending on the underlying cause of the feedback, we can help you resolve these issues if you can’t fix them on your own.

Hearing aids not generating sound

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

  • Your settings: If you have them, cycle through your personalized settings. It’s possible your hearing devices are not on the right custom setting (so maybe your hearing aids think you’re in a concert hall instead of around the kitchen table). This incorrect setting could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, make certain that they are fully charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be swapped out once in a while.
  • Power: Look, we’ve all forgotten to turn the hearing aids on before. Make certain that’s not the issue. This potential problem can then be eliminated..
  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Take a close look to see if you find any earwax on the microphone or speakers. Keep your device very clean.

If these steps don’t address your problems, we may have the solution. Whether repair, maintenance, or replacement is your next step, we will be able to help you figure that out.

Painful ears while you’re wearing your hearing aids

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

  • Time: Sometimes, it just takes a little while to get used 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 idea of how long it might take you to get comfortable with your devices. Also, speak with us about any discomfort you may be having.
  • Fit: The most evident problem can be the fit. After all, the majority of hearing aids work best when they fit tightly. Which means that there can occasionally be pain involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be personalized to your particular ears. The better the fit, the fewer problems you’ll have with discomfort over the long run. We will be able to help you achieve the best possible fit from your devices.

Bypass issues with a little test drive

One of the best ways to prevent possible issues with hearing aids is to take them out for a bit of a test drive before you decide. Most of the time we will have loaner pairs for you to try out before you make a decision.

As a matter of 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 extended issues you might have with your devices. We will be your resource for any help you need.

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

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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.

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