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Troubleshooting Common Hearing Aid Faults

Like any other piece of technology, hearing aids don’t work properly 100% of the time. Whether it be in the form of unpleasant whistling, batteries running low too quickly, or the devices not producing any sound at all, hearing aid wearers are likely to encounter problems from time to time.

This is why if you rely on these tiny, but powerful gadgets to help you hear clearly at all times, it is very important to be prepared to recognize and troubleshoot some of the most common issues you may face.

The Device Is Not Producing Sound

If you’re unable to hear any sound at all, the solution may be as simple as ensuring that your hearing aids are turned on. Some other potential steps to consider include the following:

  • If your hearing aids are rechargeable, make sure the charger is plugged in and the devices are properly docked. In case they use disposable batteries, you should check whether they might need replacing and if the battery door is closed correctly.
  • Check the volume control on your aids and ensure it is turned up.
  • Try changing between the custom settings on your hearing aids.
  • Think about the possibility of the hearing aids having been damaged. Maybe you got them wet or dropped them? If this is the case, they might need repairing by a hearing care professional.
Hearing care professional holding hearing aids and speaking to patient

The Sound Is Weak or Distorted

There are a few reasons as to why the sound may not be coming through as loudly as it should:

  • If the hearing aids use disposable batteries, make sure they are clean (no dust and debris on their surface) and suitable for your device. They might be faulty, or simply too old, in which case you will need to replace them.
  • If your aids are rechargeable, place them in their charger. Make sure the charging device itself isn’t low on battery.
  • Check if there is any earwax blocking the microphone or the sound outlet opening. If you wear BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aids, make sure there aren’t any cracks or blockages in the tubing.
  • Try turning the volume up or switching to a different program: you might have accidentally changed the settings on your aids or turned the volume down.
  • Consider whether your hearing loss might have progressed. It may be the case that you simply need to have your devices adjusted in accordance with your current hearing ability. It might be a good idea to book a hearing evaluation with your hearing care professional.
Mild Hearing Loss

The Hearing Aid Is Slipping out of Your Ear

Moisture inside your ear canal, as well as jaw movement during talking or chewing could be causing your hearing aid to move around. If your hearing aid feels uncomfortable or keeps slipping out of your ear, make sure to check:

  • Your hearing aid is not broken or cracked
  • The device is fitted correctly
  • You are using the correct tubing size
  • The dome on your device is not too small/large

If the issue continues, your hearing care professional may also need to add a retention wire.

Whistling/Feedback

Feedback is common with many types of hearing aids and is usually relatively easy to fix. It happens when the sound that was originally supposed to go into the ear canal leaves the ear and bounces back into the hearing aid microphone instead, getting reamplified and causing the device to whistle.

Below are the most common reasons as to why this might be happening:

  • Our bodies don’t usually remain the same over time, and this includes our ears. Whether it be due to weight loss or some other reason, the fit of your hearing aids might have changed. To fix the issue, contact your hearing care professional to have your aids or earmolds remade.
  • Sometimes, if you turn the volume too high up, this might cause too much sound to leak out through the vent or around the earmould, leading to whistling. Try turning the volume down to see if that resolves the issue.
  • An excessive amount of earwax could have built up inside your ear canal, causing sound to bounce off and creating feedback. If you think this might be the case, make sure to book an appointment with your hearing care professional to have the blockage removed.
  • In case you wear a hearing aid style that features an earmold and tubing, make sure the tubing is properly connected to both the hearing aid and the earmold. Check for any cracks in it and see if it has become brittle or hard. If this is the case, ensure that you contact your hearing care professional to have the tubing replaced.

Wearing The Hearing Aid is Painful/Uncomfortable

If your hearing aids are quite new, getting used to them will take some time. Your hearing care provider might suggest wearing them for a few hours a day at first, and then gradually increasing your usage time.

However, if discomfort persists, there are a few possible reasons as to what could be causing it:

  • You could be allergic to the material of your hearing aid.
  • A poor fit could be causing the discomfort, in which case new molds of your ears would need to be taken.
  • Your device might need slight re-adjustment inside your ear.
  • The hearing aid could be pressing against a bump inside the ear canal, creating pressure and irritating the sensitive skin in your ear.

What to Do Next

Sometimes, you may encounter hearing aid problems you’re unable to resolve on your own. If this happens, it might be time to contact professionals who can assist you.

If you’re experiencing an issue with your hearing aid that you’ve been unable to troubleshoot, make sure to get in touch with Hear4U so that we can provide you with the support you need, whether it be a hearing test, hearing aid repair, or replacement of a component. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected].

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