Man having troubles with his hearing aids while trying to communicate with his friend.

Have you ever been watching your favorite Netflix movie when your internet suddenly 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 just come back on its own? It’s not a great feeling.

Technology can be tremendously frustrating when it doesn’t work correctly. Your hearing aids definitely fall into this category. The majority of the time, your hearing aids will give you the means to stay connected to loved ones, have conversations with co-workers, and keep up with your neighbors.

But your symptoms of hearing loss can suddenly become extremely frustrating when your hearing aids quit working. You’ve been let down by the technology you depend on. How do hearing aids just stop working? So what can you do? 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

Even though hearing aids are complex technology, individuals may encounter three common issues with them. Here’s what might be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix 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 detect a bit of feedback. And so you think, “Why do I hear whistling in my hearing aids? This is strange”.

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

  • For individuals who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that attaches your earmold with your hearing aid might have become compromised. Try to examine this tubing as well as possible and make sure nothing is loose and the tube doesn’t appear damaged.
  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be impacted by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll notice this comes up fairly regularly. Whistling and feedback are often one outcome of this sort of earwax accumulation. You can try to clean some of the earwax out (never use a cotton swab) and if that doesn’t work out, you can get some help from us.
  • You may not have your hearing aids seated properly in your ears. Try taking them out and putting them back in. You can also try reducing the volume (if this works, you may find some short-term relief, but it also likely means that the fit isn’t quite right and you should speak with us about it).

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

No sound coming from your hearing aids

The main purpose of hearing aids is to generate sound. That’s what they’re created to do! Something has certainly 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 out? Here are some things to look for:

  • Power: Everybody forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Make sure that’s not the issue. Then you can cross that of the list of possible issues.
  • Your settings: Scroll through the personalized settings if your device has them. Your hearing aids might think you’re in a very large room when you’re actually in a little room because the setting is wrong. The sound you’re hearing could be off as a consequence.
  • Batteries: Make sure your batteries are completely charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be switched out on occasion.
  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Inspect your device for signs of earwax on the microphone or speakers or any sensitive parts. Keep your device very clean.

We are here for you if these steps don’t clear up your issues. We’ll be able to help you determine the next steps, and whether maintenance, repair, or replacement is required.

When you have your hearing aids in, your ears hurt

What if your hearing aids are working fine, but whenever you put them in your ears, your ears begin aching? And you’re most likely wondering why your hearing aids would make your ears hurt. You’re not as likely to use your hearing aids on a daily basis if they hurt your ears. So, why do they ache?

  • Fit: The fit of the device is the most obvious problem. After all, the majority of hearing aids work best when the fit is nice and snug. Which means that there can sometimes be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Some models of hearing aid can be fit to the distinct shape of your ears. The better the fit, the fewer issues you’ll have with discomfort 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 some time. How long it takes will depend on the individual. It’s worth talking about when you purchase your hearing aids so you have a reasonable idea of how long it may take you to get comfortable with your devices. If uncomfortable ears continue, speak with us about that too!

Take your new hearing aid out for a test ride

Before you decide on a set of hearing aids, it’s a smart idea to test them for a while. In the majority of cases we’ll let you test out a pair of devices before you determine that’s the pair for you.

In fact, we can help you figure out the best type of hearing aid for your needs, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you manage any extended issues you may have with your devices. 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!

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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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