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 disappear right as you’re getting to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? You sit and watch that spinning circle instead of learning about who won that cooking competition. And so you just wait. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or maybe it will simply come back on its own? It sort of stinks.

Technology can be enormously aggravating when it doesn’t work correctly. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. When they’re working properly, hearing aids can help you stay connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they talk to you.

But your symptoms of hearing loss can suddenly become really frustrating when your hearing aids quit working. The technology you’re counting on has let you down. How do hearing aids just stop working? 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

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

Whistling and feedback

Maybe you suddenly start to hear an awful high-pitched whistling while you’re trying to have a chat with a friend or relative. Or maybe you notice a little bit of feedback. You begin to think, “this is weird, what’s up with this whistling”?

Whistling and feedback can be caused by these possible problems:

  • For individuals who use behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that attaches your earmold with your hearing aid may have become compromised. Have a close look to see if the tube might have separated or may be compromised in some way.
  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be affected by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll notice this comes up fairly often. Whistling and feedback are frequently one outcome of this sort of earwax buildup. 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 may not be seated in your ears properly. Try removing them and putting them back in. You can also try reducing the volume (if this works, you may find some temporary relief, but it also likely means that the fit isn’t quite right and you should speak with us about it).

Depending on the underlying 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

The main goal of hearing aids is to generate sound. That’s their primary function! So if you find yourself thinking, “I can’t hear any sound coming from my hearing aid,” well, then something is certainly wrong. 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. Take a close look to see if you discover any earwax on the microphone or speakers. Keep your device really clean.
  • Your settings: Scroll through the personalized settings if your device has them. It’s possible 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 balance could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
  • Batteries: Be sure your batteries are fully charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it might be worth switching them out for fresh ones.
  • Power: Everyone forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Be sure that isn’t the issue. Then you can eliminate that as potential issues.

If these steps don’t address your problems, we might have the answers. 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, you feel pain in your ears

Perhaps your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when they’re in your ears. And you’re most likely thinking: why do my ears hurt when I use my hearing aids? This sort of discomfort isn’t exactly conducive to wearing your hearing aids on a day-to-day basis. So, why do they hurt?

  • Fit: The fit of the device is the most obvious issue. Naturally, when the fit is nice and snug, your hearing aids will work best. Which means that there can sometimes be pain involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be customized to your specific ears. Over the long run, you will have fewer issues if you have a tight fit. 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. How long will depend on the individual. When you first get your hearing aids, we can help you get a realistic concept of the adjustment period you can anticipate. Also, speak with us about any discomfort you may be having.

Take your new hearing aid out for a test ride

Before you decide on a pair of hearing aids, it’s a good idea 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.

Choosing the correct hearing aids, adjusting them to fit your requirements, and helping with any ongoing problems you may have, are all things we will help with. In other words, when your devices quit 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. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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