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 cuts out? You sit and watch that spinning circle instead of finding out who won that cooking competition. All you can do is wait around for it to come back. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or perhaps it will just come back on its own? It kind of stinks.

When technology malfunctions, it can be very aggravating. Your hearing aids certainly fall into this category. 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 what should 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

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

Whistling and feedback

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

Feedback and whistling can be caused by these possible problems:

  • For those who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that connects your earmold with your hearing aid may have become compromised. Have a close look to identify whether the tube may have detached or may be compromised somehow.
  • Earwax buildup in your ear canal can compromise how your hearing aid functions. This is a relatively common one. That includes making your hearing aid whistle or feedback. If possible, you can attempt to clean some earwax out of your ear or talk to us about the best way to do that (do not use a cotton swab).
  • 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 might find some short-term relief, but it also likely means that the fit isn’t quite right and you should talk to us about it).

Depending on the underlying 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

Your hearing aids should make, well, sound. That’s what they’re made to do! Something has definitely gone wrong if you can’t hear any sound coming from your hearing aid. So what could be the explanation when hearing aids work but no sound comes through? Well, there are a few things:

  • Your settings: Cycle through the personalized settings if your device includes them. It’s possible your hearing devices are not on the right custom setting (so perhaps your hearing aids think you’re in a gymnasium instead of around the kitchen table). This balance could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
  • Power: Everyone forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Make sure that isn’t the issue. Then you can eliminate that as potential problems.
  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Have a close look to see if you come across any earwax on the microphone or speakers. You want to be sure the device is good and clean.
  • Batteries: Be sure your batteries are fully charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it may be worth swapping them out for new ones.

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 able to help you figure that out.

When you have your hearing aids in, your ears hurt

Maybe your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when they’re in your ears. And you’re probably wondering why your hearing aids would make your ears hurt. 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 some time. Each individual will have a different adjustment period. When you first get your new hearing aids, we can help you get a reasonable concept of the adjustment period you can expect. If uncomfortable ears persist, speak with us about that as well!
  • 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. Which means that there can sometimes be pain involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be tailored to your particular ears. Over the long run, you will have fewer issues if you have a good fit. We will be able to help you achieve the best possible fit from your devices.

Bypass issues with a little test drive

One of the best ways to prevent possible problems with hearing aids is to take them out 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.

In 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 handle any ongoing problems you may have with your devices. 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.