Hearing Health Blog

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

Have you ever had your internet disappear just as you’re getting to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? Instead of finding out who won the baking show, you have to watch a never-ending spinning circle. 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.

When technology malfunctions, it can be very frustrating. Your hearing aids certainly fall into this category. The majority of the time, your hearing aids will provide you with the means to remain connected to loved ones, have conversations with co-workers, and keep up with your neighbors.

But when they stop working, your hearing loss symptoms can abruptly become a lot more frustrating. The technology you’re counting on has failed you. How do hearing aids just stop working? So how do you deal with that? Here are the three prevalent ways your hearing aids can malfunction and how to troubleshoot and identify them.

Hearing aids can often have three common issues

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

Whistling and feedback

So, maybe you’re attempting to have a conversation with your family or watch your favorite show and you start to notice a horrific whistling noise. Or perhaps you hear some 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 people who wear 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 may have separated or might be damaged in some way.
  • Earwax accumulation in your ear canal can undermine the way your hearing aid works. You’ll find this comes up pretty often. That includes making your hearing aid whistle or feedback. If possible, you can attempt to clean 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 correctly positioned in your ears. Try to remove them and re-seat them. If the fit isn’t right you may need to come see us so we can help you get a better fit.

If these problems are not easily resolved, it’s worth speaking with us about correcting the fit or sending your device in for maintenance (depending on what we determine the underlying cause of that whistling or feedback may be).

No sound coming from your hearing aids

The main goal of hearing aids is to produce sound. That’s what they’re created to do! 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 out? Well, there are a couple of things:

  • Your settings: Cycle through the personalized settings if your device includes them. It’s feasible your hearing devices are not on the right custom setting (so perhaps your hearing aids think you’re in a concert hall instead of at the kitchen table). The sound you’re hearing may be off as a consequence.
  • Batteries: Make sure your batteries are fully charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be switched out once in a while.
  • Power: Everybody forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Make sure that’s not the issue. Then you can eliminate that as potential problems.
  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Have a close look to see if you find any earwax on the microphone or speakers. You want to make certain the device is nice and clean.

We’re here for you if these steps don’t clear your issues up. 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, you feel pain in your ears

Perhaps your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when you put them in. And you’re likely thinking: why do my ears hurt when I use my hearing aids? This kind of discomfort is not exactly conducive to wearing your hearing aids over the long term. So, why do they hurt?

  • Time: Getting used to your hearing aids will take a little while. How long it takes will depend on the person. When you first get your new hearing aids, we can help you get a realistic concept of the adjustment period you can anticipate. If uncomfortable ears continue, talk to us about that too!
  • Fit: The most obvious problem can be the fit. Needless to say, when the fit is nice and tight, your hearing aids will work best. Which means that there can sometimes be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be tailored to your particular ears. Over the long haul, you will have fewer problems if you have a good fit. If you come in for a consultation, we can help you achieve the best fit for your device.

Take your new hearing aid out for a test ride

Before you commit to a pair of hearing aids, it’s a good plan 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.

In fact, we can help you determine the best type of hearing aid for your needs, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you handle any ongoing issues you may have with your devices. We will be your resource for any help you need.

And that’s probably more dependable than your internet company.

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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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