Hearing Aids Can Malfunction in These Three Ways

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 cuts out? 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 really frustrating. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. When they’re functioning correctly, hearing aids can help you stay connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they talk to you.

But when they quit working, your hearing loss symptoms can abruptly become much more frustrating. You’ve been disappointed by the technology you depend on. How do hearing aids just quit working? So how do you cope with that? Well, there are three common ways that hearing aids can malfunction, here’s how you can start to recognize and troubleshoot those problems.

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

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

Whistling and feedback

Maybe you suddenly start to hear a terrible high-pitched whistling while you’re attempting to have a chat with a friend or family member. Or perhaps you notice some 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 functionality of your hearing aid can be impacted by earwax accumulation in your ear canal. This is a fairly common one. Whistling and feedback are frequently one result of this kind of earwax accumulation. If possible, you can attempt to clean some earwax out of your ear or talk to us about the best method to do that (do not use a cotton swab).
  • You might not have your hearing aids correctly positioned in your ears. Try removing them and putting them back in. You can also try turning the volume down (if this works, you may find some temporary relief, but it also likely means that the fit is indeed not quite right and you should speak with us about it).
  • For those who use behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that attaches your earmold with your hearing aid might have become compromised. Try to examine this tubing as closely as you can and make sure nothing is loose and the tube does not appear damaged.

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

No sound coming from your hearing aids

Your hearing aids should make, well, sound. That’s what they’re created to do! 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? Well, there are a few things:

  • Your settings: If you have them, cycle through your custom settings. It’s feasible your hearing devices are not on the right custom program (so perhaps your hearing aids think you’re in a gymnasium instead of around the kitchen table). The sound you’re hearing might be off as a consequence.
  • Power: Look, we’ve all forgotten to turn the hearing aids on before. Check for this first. Then you can cross that of the list of potential problems.
  • 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. Keep your device really clean.
  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, make certain that they are completely charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be switched out from time to time.

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

When you have your hearing aids in, your ears hurt

What if your hearing aids are working fine, but whenever you put them in your ears, your ears start aching? And you’re likely wondering why your hearing aids would make your ears hurt. This sort of discomfort isn’t exactly conducive to wearing your hearing aids over the long term. So, what could be causing it?

  • Time: Usually, it just takes some time to get accustomed to your hearing aids. Each person will have a different adjustment period. It’s worth talking about when you purchase your hearing aids so you have a reasonable concept of how long it might take you to become comfortable with your devices. Also, talk to us about any discomfort you may be experiencing.
  • Fit: The most evident problem 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 quite right, there can be some pain. Some models of hearing aid can be fit to the particular shape of your ears. Over the long run, you will have fewer problems if you have a snug fit. We will be able to help you get the best possible fit from your devices.

Take your new hearing aid out for a test ride

One of the best ways to avoid possible problems with hearing aids is to take them for a bit of a test drive before you commit. Most of the time we will have loaner pairs for you to try out before you make a decision.

Selecting the right hearing aids, adjusting them to fit your needs, and helping with any extended problems you may have, are all things we will assist with. 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 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.