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? Instead of finding out who won the baking show, you have to watch a never-ending spinning circle. And so you just wait. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or maybe it will simply come back on its own? It’s not a great feeling.

Technology can be enormously aggravating when it doesn’t work correctly. Your hearing aids definitely fall into this category. When they’re functioning properly, hearing aids can help you stay connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they speak to you.

But when they quit working, your hearing loss symptoms can suddenly become much more frustrating. You’ve been disappointed by the technology you depend on. How do hearing aids just stop working? So how do you cope with that? Here are the three common ways your hearing aids can malfunction and how to diagnose and identify them.

Hearing aids can often have three common issues

Hearing aids are sophisticated devices. Even still, there are some common issues that individuals with hearing aids might experience. Here’s what might 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 conversation with a friend or relative. Or perhaps you notice some feedback. You start to think, “this is weird, what’s up with this whistling”?

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

  • Earwax buildup in your ear canal can undermine how your hearing aid works. You’ll notice this comes up fairly regularly. Whistling and feedback are often 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 (don’t use a cotton swab).
  • The tubing that connects the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can sometimes become compromised. Try to inspect this tubing as well as you can and make certain nothing is loose and the tube does not appear damaged.
  • Your hearing aids might not be sitting in your ears properly. 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.

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

No sound coming from your hearing aids

Your hearing aids are supposed to make, well, sound. That’s what they’re created to do! Something has undoubtedly gone wrong if you don’t hear any sound coming out of your hearing aid. So what could cause hearing aids to drop all sound? Well, there are a few things:

  • Your settings: Scroll through the personalized settings if your device has them. Your hearing aids might think you’re in a very large space when you’re actually in a little room because the setting is wrong. This incorrect setting could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
  • Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Have a close look to see if you come across any earwax on the microphone or speakers. Keep your device really clean.
  • Batteries: Make certain your batteries are fully charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be swapped out once in a while.
  • Power: Everyone forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Check for this first. Then you can cross that of the list of possible issues.

We’re here for you if these steps 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.

Your ears hurt when you’re wearing your hearing aids

What if your hearing aids work perfectly, but whenever you put them in your ears, your ears begin to hurt? And you’re most likely wondering why your hearing aids would hurt your ears. You’re not as likely to wear your hearing aids every day if they make your ears hurt. So, what could be causing it?

  • Fit: The fit of the device is the most obvious issue. After all, most hearing aids work best when the fit is nice and snug. So when your hearing aids aren’t fitting quite right, there can be some discomfort. Many hearing aids can be customized to your specific ears. Over the long run, you will have fewer problems if you have a good fit. If you come see us, we can help you get the best fit for your device.
  • Time: Getting used to your hearing aids will take some time. How long it takes will depend on the person. When you first get your new hearing aids, we can help you get a reasonable idea of the adjustment period you can anticipate. If uncomfortable ears continue, talk to us about that as well!

Avoid issues with a little test drive

One of the best ways to prevent 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.

Choosing the correct hearing aids, adjusting them to fit your needs, and helping with any extended issues you might have, are all things we will assist with. 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 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.