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 right as you’re getting to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? Instead of discovering who won the baking show, you have to watch an endless spinning circle. All you can do is wait around for it to come back. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or perhaps it will simply come back on its own? It’s not a great feeling.

When technology malfunctions, it can be really aggravating. Your hearing aids certainly fall into this category. When they’re working correctly, hearing aids can help you remain connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they speak to you.

But your symptoms of hearing loss can suddenly become very frustrating when your hearing aids stop working. The technology you’re depending on has failed you. Why would your hearing aids just stop functioning? So how do you deal with that? Here are the three prevalent ways your hearing aids can fail and how to troubleshoot and identify them.

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

Even though hearing aids are sophisticated technology, individuals may encounter three common issues with them. Here’s what could be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix them).

Whistling and feedback

So, maybe you’re attempting to have a conversation with your family or watch your favorite television show and you start to notice a dreadful whistling sound. Or perhaps you detect a little bit of feedback. And so you think, “Why do I hear whistling in my hearing aids? This is odd”.

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

  • The tubing that connects the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can occasionally become compromised. Try to inspect this tubing as closely as possible and make sure nothing is loose and the tube doesn’t appear damaged.
  • Your hearing aids might not be sitting in your ears correctly. 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 talk to us about it).
  • Earwax buildup in your ear canal can undermine the way your hearing aid functions. You’ll find this comes up pretty often. Whistling and feedback are often one result of this kind of earwax buildup. If possible, you can try clearing some earwax out of your ear or talk to 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 deal with these issues if you can’t figure them out on your own.

Hearing aids not producing sound

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

  • Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Examine your device for signs of earwax on the microphone or speakers or any sensitive bits. You want to make certain the device is good and clean.
  • Power: Everyone forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Be sure that isn’t the problem. This potential issue can then be eliminated..
  • Your settings: Scroll through the personalized settings if your device includes them. Your hearing aids might think you’re in a huge room when you’re actually in a small room because the setting isn’t right. This incorrect setting could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
  • Batteries: Make certain your batteries are fully charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it may be worth swapping them out for new ones.

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

Your ears hurt while you’re wearing your hearing aids

Perhaps your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when they’re in your ears. And you’re most likely wondering why your hearing aids would make your ears hurt. You’re not as likely to use your hearing aids on a daily basis if they hurt your ears. So, why do they hurt?

  • Fit: The most evident issue can be the fit. After all, most hearing aids work best when they fit tightly. Which means that there can occasionally be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Some models of hearing aid can be fit to the distinct shape of your ears. Over the long run, you will have fewer problems 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: Getting accustomed to your hearing aids will take a little while. Each person will have a different adjustment period. When you first get your hearing aids, we can help you get a reasonable concept of the adjustment period you can expect. If uncomfortable ears continue, speak with us about that too!

Bypass issues with a little test drive

One of the best ways to prevent possible problems 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 manage any ongoing 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!

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.