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 just as you’re almost to the best part of your favorite Netflix movie? 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. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or maybe it will simply come back on its own? It sort of stinks.

When technology malfunctions, it can be very aggravating. The same is definitely true of your hearing aids. When they’re working correctly, hearing aids can help you stay 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 extremely frustrating when your hearing aids stop working. The technology you’re depending on has failed you. Why would your hearing aids just stop working? So what can you do? Well, there are three common ways that hearing aids can fail, here’s how you can start to recognize and troubleshoot those issues.

Hearing aids can often have three common issues

Hearing aids are complex devices. Even still, there are some common problems that people with hearing aids may encounter. Here’s what might be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix them).

Feedback and whistling

So, perhaps you’re attempting to have a chat with your family or watch your favorite television show and you begin to notice a dreadful whistling noise. Or maybe you notice a little bit of feedback. You begin to think, “this is weird, what’s up with this whistling”?

Feedback and whistling can be caused by these possible problems:

  • For individuals 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 might have separated or might be compromised in some way.
  • You might not have your hearing aids correctly positioned in your ears. Try to remove them and re-seat them. If the fit isn’t correct you might need to come see us so we can help you get a better fit.
  • Earwax accumulation in your ear canal can undermine the way your hearing aid works. This is a fairly common one. Whistling and feedback are frequently one outcome of this kind of earwax buildup. If possible, you can attempt to clean some earwax out of your ear or consult with us about the best method to do that (don’t use a cotton swab).

If these problems aren’t easily resolvable, it’s worth talking to us about adjusting 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

Your hearing aids are supposed to make, well, sound. That’s their principal function! So if you find yourself thinking, “I don’t hear any sound coming from 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:

  • Power: Look, we’ve all forgotten to turn the hearing aids on before. Make certain that isn’t the issue. This potential issue can then be eliminated..
  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, make certain that they’re fully charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be swapped out from time to time.
  • 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 nice and clean.
  • Your settings: Cycle through the personalized settings if your device has them. It’s feasible your hearing devices are on the wrong custom program (so perhaps your hearing aids think you’re in a concert hall instead of at the kitchen table). The sound you’re hearing could be off as a result.

If these steps don’t correct your issues, we may have the answers. We’ll be able to help you find out the next steps, and whether maintenance, repair, or replacement is needed.

When you have your hearing aids in, you feel pain in your ears

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

  • Fit: The most evident issue can be the fit. Naturally, when the fit is nice and snug, your hearing aids will work best. So when your hearing aids aren’t fitting very well, there can be some pain. Many hearing aids can be tailored to your specific ears. The better the fit, the fewer issues you’ll have with discomfort over the long run. If you come in for a consultation, we can help you get the best fit for your device.
  • Time: Getting used to your hearing aids will take a little while. Each individual will have a different adjustment period. When you first get your new hearing aids, we can help you get a realistic idea of the adjustment period you can expect. If uncomfortable ears persist, talk to us about that as well!

Bypass problems with a little test drive

Before you commit to a pair of hearing aids, it’s a good idea to test them for a while. Most of the time we will have loaner pairs for you to try out before you make a decision.

Choosing the correct hearing aids, adjusting them to fit your needs, and helping with any ongoing problems you may have, are all things we will help with. We will be your resource for any assistance you need.

And that’s most likely more dependable 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.