Three Ways Hearing Aids Can Malfunction

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

Have you ever been watching your favorite Netflix movie when your internet suddenly cuts out? Instead of discovering who won the baking show, you have to watch a never-ending spinning circle. All you can do is wait around for it to come back. Perhaps it’s your modem, might be your router, possibly it’s the internet company, or possibly it’ll just fix itself. It sort of stinks.

Technology can be tremendously aggravating when it doesn’t work properly. Your hearing aids certainly fall into this category. When they’re functioning properly, hearing aids can help you remain connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they talk to you.

But your symptoms of hearing loss can suddenly become very frustrating when your hearing aids stop working. You’ve been let down by the technology you count on. How do hearing aids just stop working? So what can you do? Here are the three common ways your hearing aids can malfunction and how to troubleshoot and identify them.

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

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

Feedback and whistling

So, perhaps you’re attempting to have a conversation with your family or watch your favorite show and you begin to hear a horrific whistling sound. Or perhaps you hear some feedback. You start to think, “this is strange, what’s up with this whistling”?

Whistling and feedback can be caused by these possible problems:

  • The tubing that connects the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can occasionally become compromised. Take a close look to see if the tube may have separated or may be compromised somehow.
  • You might not have your hearing aids correctly positioned in your ears. Try taking them out and putting them back in. If the fit isn’t right you may need to come in so we can help you get a better fit.
  • Earwax buildup in your ear canal can compromise the way your hearing aid works. This is a relatively common one. Whistling and feedback are often one result of this type of earwax accumulation. If possible, you can attempt to clean some earwax out of your ear or talk to us about the best way to do that (do not use a cotton swab).

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

No sound coming from your hearing aids

Your hearing aids should make, well, sound. That’s what they’re made to do! So if you find yourself thinking, “I don’t hear any sound coming from my hearing aid,” well, then something is definitely not right. So what could be the cause when hearing aids work but no sound comes out? Well, there are a few things:

  • Power: Look, we’ve all disregarded turning the hearing aids on before. Make certain that’s not the issue. Then you can cross that of the list of possible issues.
  • Your settings: If you have them, cycle through your personalized settings. Your hearing aids might think you’re in a huge space when you’re actually in a small room because the setting is wrong. The sound you’re hearing could be off as a consequence.
  • Batteries: Be sure your batteries are fully charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it might be worth switching them out for fresh ones.
  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Examine your device for indications of earwax on the microphone or speakers or any sensitive parts. You want to make sure the device is good and clean.

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

Your ears hurt while you’re wearing your hearing aids

What if your hearing aids are working fine, but whenever you put them in your ears, your ears start hurting? 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 make your ears hurt. So, why do they ache?

  • Time: Getting accustomed to your hearing aids will take a little while. How long will depend on the person. It’s worth talking about when you buy your hearing aids so you have a reasonable idea of how long it might take you to get comfortable with your devices. If uncomfortable ears remain, talk to us about that too!
  • Fit: The most obvious problem can be the fit. After all, the majority of hearing aids work best when the fit is nice and snug. Which means that there can occasionally be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be customized to your particular ears. Over the long haul, you will have fewer problems if you have a snug fit. If you come see us, we can help you achieve the best fit for your device.

Bypass problems with a little test drive

One of the best ways to avoid 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.

In fact, we can help you determine the best type of hearing aid for your needs, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you handle any extended issues you may 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.