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 movie? Instead of discovering who won the baking show, you have to watch an endless spinning circle. All you can do is wait around for it to come back. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or maybe it will simply come back on its own? It’s not a great feeling.

When technology breaks down, it can be very frustrating. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. When they’re working properly, hearing aids can help you remain connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they talk to you.

But when they quit working, your hearing loss symptoms can abruptly become a lot more frustrating. The technology you’re depending on has let you down. Why would your hearing aids just quit working? So what should you do? Here are the three common ways your hearing aids can fail and how to diagnose and identify them.

Hearing aids can often have three common issues

Hearing aids are complex devices. Even still, there are some common problems that individuals with hearing aids might experience. Let’s take a look at possible causes of these problems and potential fixes.

Feedback and whistling

Maybe you suddenly begin to hear an awful high-pitched whistling while you’re trying to have a chat with a friend or relative. Or perhaps you detect a little bit of feedback. And so you think, “Why do I hear whistling in my hearing aids? This is odd”.

Feedback and whistling can be caused by these possible issues:

  • For those who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that connects your earmold with your hearing aid might have become compromised. Take a close look to identify whether the tube may have detached or might be damaged in some way.
  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be affected by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll find this comes up fairly regularly. That includes causing your hearing aids to whistle or feedback. If possible, you can try clearing some earwax out of your ear or consult with us about the best way to do that (don’t use a cotton swab).
  • You might not have your hearing aids seated properly in your ears. Try to remove them and re-seat them. You can also try reducing the volume (if this works, you may find some temporary relief, but it also likely means that the fit is indeed not quite right and you should consult us about it).

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.

Hearing aids not producing sound

The main purpose of hearing aids is to generate sound. That’s what they’re created to do! Something has definitely 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 several things to look for:

  • Your settings: If you have them, flip through your custom settings. It’s possible your hearing devices are on the wrong custom program (so maybe your hearing aids think you’re in a gymnasium instead of around the kitchen table). The sound you’re hearing might be off as a result.
  • Power: Everybody forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Be sure that’s not the problem. Then you can cross that of the list of possible problems.
  • 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. You want to be sure the device is good and clean.
  • Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, be sure that they are completely charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be swapped out from time to time.

If these steps don’t correct your issues, we might have the solution. We’ll be able to help you find out the next steps, and whether maintenance, repair, or replacement is required.

When you have your hearing aids in, you feel pain in your ears

Maybe your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when they’re in your ears. And you’re probably thinking: why do my ears hurt when I wear my hearing aids? You’re not as likely to wear your hearing aids on a daily basis if they make your ears hurt. So, why do they hurt?

  • Time: Getting accustomed to your hearing aids will take some time. Each person will have a different adjustment period. When you first get your hearing aids, we can help you get a reasonable idea of the adjustment period you can expect. If uncomfortable ears persist, talk to us about that too!
  • Fit: The most obvious issue can be the fit. Naturally, when the fit is nice and tight, your hearing aids will work best. Which means that there can occasionally be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be personalized to your particular ears. Over the long run, you will have fewer issues if you have a tight fit. If you come see us, we can help you get the best fit for your device.

Take your new hearing aid out for a test ride

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. In the majority of cases we’ll let you try out a pair of devices before you decide that’s the pair for you.

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

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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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