Three Ways Hearing Aids Can Malfunction

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 abruptly disappears? You sit there and watch that spinning circle instead of finding out who won that cooking competition. And so you just wait. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or perhaps it will simply come back on its own? It’s not a very good feeling.

When technology malfunctions, it can be really aggravating. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. When they’re functioning properly, hearing aids can help you remain connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they speak to you.

But your symptoms of hearing loss can suddenly become really frustrating when your hearing aids stop working. You’ve been disappointed by the technology you count on. Why would your hearing aids just stop functioning? So what can you do? Here are the three prevalent ways your hearing aids can fail 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 people with hearing aids might experience. Let’s take a look at possible causes of these issues and potential fixes.

Whistling and feedback

So, perhaps you’re trying to have a chat with your family or watch your favorite show and you begin to notice a horrific whistling sound. Or maybe you hear some feedback. You start to think, “this is strange, what’s up with this whistling”?

Feedback and whistling can be caused by these possible issues:

  • Your hearing aids may not be sitting in your ears properly. Try removing them and putting them back in. You can also try turning the volume down (if this works, you may find some short-term relief, but it also likely means that the fit is indeed not quite right and you should talk to us about it).
  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be affected by earwax buildup in your ear canal. This is a rather common one. Whistling and feedback are often one outcome of this kind of earwax accumulation. If possible, you can try clearing some earwax out of your ear or consult with us about the best way to do that (do not use a cotton swab).
  • The tubing that attaches the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can sometimes become compromised. Take a close look to identify whether the tube might have separated or may be compromised in some way.

If these issues are not easily resolved, it’s worth consulting with us about correcting the fit or sending your device in for maintenance (depending on what we think the underlying 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 main function! Something has definitely gone wrong if you can’t hear any sound coming out of your hearing aid. So what could be the explanation when hearing aids work but no sound comes out? Well, there are a couple of things:

  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, be sure that they’re fully charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be switched out from time to time.
  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Have a close look to see if you discover any earwax on the speakers or microphone. You want to make certain the device is good and clean.
  • Power: Everyone forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Be sure that’s not the issue. This potential problem can then be eliminated..
  • Your settings: Cycle through the personalized settings if your device has them. Your hearing aids may 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.

If these steps don’t address your problems, we might have the solution. We’ll be able to help you determine the next steps, and whether maintenance, repair, or replacement is needed.

Painful ears when you’re wearing your hearing aids

Maybe your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when they’re in your ears. And you’re likely wondering why your hearing aids would make your ears hurt. 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 problem. After all, the majority of hearing aids work best when they fit tightly. So when your hearing aids aren’t fitting very well, there can be some discomfort. Many hearing aids can be tailored to your particular ears. The better the fit, the fewer problems you’ll have with pain over the long haul. 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 person will have a different adjustment period. It’s worth talking about when you buy your hearing aids so you have a reasonable concept of how long it may take you to get comfortable with your devices. Also, talk to us about any discomfort you might be experiencing.

Take your new hearing aid out for a test ride

Before you commit to a pair of hearing aids, it’s a good idea to try them out 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 ascertain the best type of hearing aid for your requirements, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you manage any extended problems you might have with your devices. We will be your resource for any assistance you need.

And that’s a lot more than you will get from an over-the-counter hearing aid!

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.


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