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 getting to the best part of your favorite Netflix movie? You sit and watch that spinning circle instead of learning about who won that cooking competition. And so you just wait. Perhaps it’s your modem, might be your router, possibly it’s the internet provider, or possibly it’ll just fix itself. It kind of stinks.

When technology breaks down, it can be very aggravating. Your hearing aids definitely fall into this category. Most of the time, your hearing aids will provide you with the means to stay connected to loved ones, have conversations with co-workers, and keep up with your neighbors.

But your symptoms of hearing loss can suddenly become very frustrating when your hearing aids quit working. The technology you’re counting on has let you down. Why would your hearing aids just stop functioning? So how do you deal with that? Well, there are three common ways that hearing aids can malfunction, 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 might encounter. Here’s what could be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix them).

Whistling and feedback

Perhaps 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 maybe you detect a little bit of feedback. And so you think, “Why am I hearing whistling in my hearing aids? This is strange”.

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

  • The tubing that attaches the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can occasionally become compromised. Take a close look to see if the tube might have detached or might be damaged somehow.
  • Earwax accumulation in your ear canal can compromise how your hearing aid works. You’ll find this comes up fairly regularly. That includes causing your hearing aids to whistle or feedback. You can attempt to clear some of the earwax out (never use a cotton swab) and if that fails, you can get some help from us.
  • Your hearing aids might not be sitting in your ears correctly. Try to take them out and re-seat them. You can also try reducing the volume (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 talk to us about it).

Depending on the root cause of the feedback, we can help you deal with these problems if you can’t figure them out on your own.

Hearing aids not generating sound

The main objective of hearing aids is to generate sound. That’s what they’re created to do! Something has certainly gone wrong if you don’t hear any sound coming from your hearing aid. So what could be the explanation when hearing aids work but no sound comes through? Here are some things to look for:

  • Batteries: Be sure your batteries are completely charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it may be worth switching them out for fresh ones.
  • Your settings: If you have them, flip through your personalized settings. Your hearing aids might think you’re in a huge space when you’re actually in a little room because the setting isn’t right. This incorrect setting could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
  • Power: Everybody forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Check for this first. Then you can eliminate that as potential issues.
  • Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Take a close look to see if you find any earwax on the speakers or microphone. Keep your device really clean.

We’re here for you if these steps don’t clear up your issues. 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, you feel pain in your ears

What if your hearing aids are working fine, but every time you put them in your ears, your ears start hurting? And you’re likely wondering why your hearing aids would hurt your ears. This kind of discomfort is not exactly conducive to using your hearing aids over the long term. So, what could be causing it?

  • Time: Sometimes, it just takes a little while to get used to your hearing aids. How long will depend on the individual. When you first get your hearing aids, we can help you get a realistic idea of the adjustment period you can expect. Also, speak with us about any discomfort you may be having.
  • Fit: The fit of the device is the most obvious problem. Needless to say, when the fit is nice and snug, your hearing aids will work best. Which means that there can sometimes be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be tailored to your specific ears. Over the long run, you will have fewer issues if you have a good fit. If you come see us, we can help you get the best fit for your device.

Avoid problems with a little test drive

Before you decide on a set of hearing aids, it’s a good plan 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.

As a matter of fact, we can help you figure out the best type 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 stop 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. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.