Three Ways Hearing Aids Can Fail

Man having troubles with his hearing aids while trying to communicate with his friend.

Have you ever had your internet cut right as you’re getting to the best part of your favorite Netflix movie? Instead of finding out 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. Maybe it’s your modem, could be your router, possibly it’s the internet provider, or maybe it’ll just fix itself. It’s not a very good feeling.

Technology can be enormously frustrating when it doesn’t work correctly. The same is definitely true of your hearing aids. Most of the time, your hearing aids will give you the means to remain connected to loved ones, have discussions with co-workers, and keep up with your neighbors.

But when they stop working, your hearing loss symptoms can suddenly become a lot more frustrating. The technology you’re counting on has let you down. How do hearing aids just stop working? So how do you deal with that? Here are the three common ways your hearing aids can fail and how to diagnose and identify them.

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

Even though hearing aids are complex technology, individuals might encounter three common issues with them. Here’s what might be causing those issues (and what you can do to correct them).

Feedback and whistling

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

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

  • You might not have your hearing aids correctly positioned in your ears. Try taking them out and putting them back in. If the fit isn’t correct you might need to come see us so we can help you get a better fit.
  • For individuals who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that attaches your earmold with your hearing aid may 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.
  • Earwax accumulation in your ear canal can compromise how your hearing aid works. This is a rather common one. Whistling and feedback are often one result of this type of earwax buildup. You can try to clear some of the earwax out (never use a cotton swab) and if that doesn’t work out, you can get some help from us.

If these problems 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

Your hearing aids are supposed to make, well, sound. That’s their primary function! Something has undoubtedly gone wrong if you can’t hear any sound coming out of your hearing aid. So what could be the cause when hearing aids work but no sound comes through? Here are some things to watch for:

  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Inspect your device for indications of earwax on the microphone or speakers or any sensitive bits. You want to make certain the device is good and clean.
  • 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 at the kitchen table). This incorrect setting could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, be sure that they are completely charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it may be worth swapping them out for new ones.
  • Power: Everybody forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Check for this first. This possible issue can then be eliminated..

We’re here for you if these measures don’t clear your issues up. We’ll be able to help you find out the next steps, and whether maintenance, repair, or replacement is needed.

Your ears hurt while you’re wearing your hearing aids

What if your hearing aids work perfectly, but every time you put them in your ears, your ears start aching? And you’re most likely thinking: why do my ears hurt when I wear my hearing aids? This type of discomfort is not exactly conducive to using your hearing aids on a day-to-day basis. So, why do they hurt?

  • Time: Getting used to your hearing aids will take a little while. 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 may take you to become comfortable with your devices. Also, talk to us about any discomfort you may be experiencing.
  • Fit: The fit of the device is the most obvious issue. Naturally, when the fit is nice and tight, your hearing aids will work best. So when your hearing aids aren’t fitting very well, there can be some discomfort. Many hearing aids can be tailored to your specific ears. Over the long haul, 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.

Avoid issues with a little test drive

One of the best ways to avoid possible problems with hearing aids is to take them for a bit of a test run before you commit. In most instances we’ll let you try out a set of devices before you decide that’s the pair for you.

Selecting the correct hearing aids, adjusting them to fit your requirements, and helping with any extended issues you might have, are all things we will help with. We will be your resource for any assistance you need.

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.