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 abruptly disappears? Instead of finding out who won the baking show, you have to watch an endless spinning circle. And so you just wait. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or maybe it will just come back on its own? It kind of stinks.

When technology malfunctions, it can be very aggravating. Your hearing aids certainly fall into this category. When they’re working correctly, hearing aids can help you stay 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 extremely frustrating when your hearing aids stop working. The technology you’re counting on has failed you. How do hearing aids just quit working? So how do you cope with that? Well, there are three prevalent ways that hearing aids can malfunction, here’s how you can start to identify and troubleshoot those problems.

Hearing aids can often have three common issues

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

Whistling and feedback

So, perhaps you’re trying to have a chat with your family or watch your favorite television show and you begin to notice a horrific whistling sound. Or maybe you detect a bit of 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:

  • Earwax buildup in your ear canal can undermine how your hearing aid works. This is a relatively common one. Whistling and feedback are frequently one outcome of this type of earwax accumulation. If possible, you can attempt to clean some earwax out of your ear or consult with us about the best way to do that (do not use a cotton swab).
  • The tubing that attaches the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can sometimes become compromised. Try to inspect this tubing as closely as possible and make certain nothing is loose and the tube does not appear damaged.
  • Your hearing aids may not be sitting in your ears correctly. Try removing them 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.

If these issues are not easily resolved, it’s worth consulting with us about correcting the fit or sending your device in for servicing (depending on what we think the root cause of that whistling or feedback might be).

Hearing aids not producing sound

The main purpose of hearing aids is to produce sound. That’s their principal function! So if you find yourself thinking, “I can’t hear any sound coming from my hearing aid,” well, then something is definitely not right. So what could cause hearing aids to drop all sound? Well, there are a few things:

  • Power: Look, we’ve all forgotten to turn on the hearing aid before. Make sure that isn’t the problem. Then you can cross that of the list of potential problems.
  • Your settings: If you have them, flip through your personalized settings. 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.
  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, make sure that they are completely charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be switched out on occasion.
  • Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Have a close look to see if you discover any earwax on the microphone or speakers. You want to be sure the device is nice and clean.

We’re here for you if these measures don’t clear your issues up. 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 you put them in. And you’re probably wondering why your hearing aids would make your ears hurt. This sort of discomfort is not exactly conducive to wearing your hearing aids on a day-to-day basis. So, what could be causing it?

  • Time: Usually, it just takes some time to get used to your hearing aids. Each individual will have a different adjustment period. It’s worth talking about when you buy your hearing aids so you have a reasonable concept of how long it may take you to get comfortable with your devices. If uncomfortable ears persist, speak with us about that as well!
  • Fit: The most evident problem can be the fit. Needless to say, when the fit is nice and snug, your hearing aids will work best. Which means that there can occasionally be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be customized to your specific ears. Over the long haul, you will have fewer issues if you have a tight fit. We will be able to help you achieve the best possible fit from your devices.

Bypass problems with a little test drive

One of the best ways to avoid 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.

In fact, we can help you determine the best kind of hearing aid for your needs, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you manage any extended issues you might have with your devices. We will be your resource for any help you need.

And that’s most likely more reliable than your internet company.

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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