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 show when your internet suddenly disappears? Instead of finding out who won the baking show, you have to watch a never-ending spinning circle. And so you just wait. Maybe 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 frustrating when it doesn’t work correctly. 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 depend on. How do 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 begin to recognize and troubleshoot those problems.

Hearing aids can often have three common issues

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

Feedback and whistling

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

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

  • You may not have your hearing aids seated properly in your ears. Try to remove them and re-seat them. You can also try reducing the volume (if this works, you may find some short-term relief, but it also likely means that the fit isn’t quite right and you should talk to us about it).
  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be affected by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll find this comes up fairly regularly. That includes making your hearing aid whistle or feedback. You can try to clear some of the earwax out (never use a cotton swab) and if that fails, you can get some assistance from us.
  • For people who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that attaches your earmold with your hearing aid might have become compromised. Take a close look to see if the tube may have separated or might be compromised somehow.

If these issues are not easily resolvable, it’s worth consulting 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).

Hearing aids not generating sound

The main goal of hearing aids is to produce sound. That’s their main function! So if you find yourself thinking, “I don’t hear any sound in my hearing aid,” well, then something is definitely wrong. So what could cause hearing aids to lose all sound? Here are a few things to look for:

  • Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Have a close look to see if you find any earwax on the speakers or microphone. You want to make certain the device is good and clean.
  • Power: Look, we’ve all disregarded turning on the hearing aid before. Make sure that’s not the problem. Then you can cross that of the list of potential issues.
  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, be sure that they’re completely charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it might be worth switching them out for new ones.
  • Your settings: Scroll through the personalized settings if your device includes them. It’s possible your hearing devices are on the wrong custom setting (so perhaps your hearing aids think you’re in a concert hall instead of around the kitchen table). The sound you’re hearing could be off as a consequence.

We are here for you if these steps don’t clear up your issues. We’ll be able to help you identify 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 are working fine, but whenever you put them in your ears, your ears begin aching? And you’re probably 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?

  • Time: Sometimes, it just takes some time to get accustomed to your hearing aids. How long will depend on the person. It’s worth talking about when you purchase your hearing aids so you have a reasonable concept of how long it may take you to get comfortable with your devices. Also, speak with us about any discomfort you might be experiencing.
  • Fit: The most evident problem can be the fit. After all, most hearing aids work best when the fit is nice and snug. Which means that there can sometimes be pain involved in a poor fit. Some models of hearing aid can be fit to the particular shape of your ears. The better the fit, the fewer issues you’ll have with discomfort over the long haul. We will be able to help you achieve the best possible fit from your devices.

Bypass problems with a little test drive

Before you commit to a set of hearing aids, it’s a smart plan to try them out 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 ascertain the best kind of hearing aid for your requirements, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you manage any ongoing issues you may 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.