Hearing aids can be incredible tools when it comes to treating hearing loss and improving your overall quality of life.

They are incredibly advanced pieces of technology that, of course, as audiologists, we owe a lot of gratitude to.

Though, like any other technological device, issues can arise with them over time or even during the beginning of use.

These issues can quickly become confusing and overwhelming for even the most experienced hearing aid users, but I’m here to tell you that the fix is often relatively simple and can be done at home!

From my experience speaking to patients, I have listed the most common issues with hearing aids and how to fix them.

Please take your time reading these problems and their solutions to see if this is the information you need.

Issue #1: No Sound 

  • Check that your hearing aid is turned on! This may seem obvious, but sometimes it can accidentally be turned off when putting it on, and sometimes we just forget! The most straightforward solutions are usually the most overlooked.
  • Make sure the volume is where it’s supposed to be. It’s also very easy to accidentally change the volume settings when putting it in.
  • If the power is on and the volume is set correctly, next check on the battery. Ensure that the battery is inserted right side up and that the cover is fully installed. If that seems OK, check to see if the battery needs to be charged or changed.
  • If your hearing aid is still not working correctly, you may need to look at the receiver tube for a blockage. If it is dirty or blocked, clean the tube.
  • Lastly, check the microphone for dirt that may be preventing the sound from being picked up. If needed, clean the microphone of dust, dirt, and/or earwax and test it again.

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Issue #2: It Doesn’t Fit Quite Right

  • Have you dropped it at all? Even if a small fall may have seemed insignificant, hearing aids are delicate devices and can be altered easily. If you have, do not try to fix it yourself. Wait until you can bring it to a trained professional to get fixed.
  • Remember, fit can change over time! If you feel like something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to bring it in to our office and our staff will happily help you in any way we can.

Issue #3: Sound is Off or Different

  • Double-check that your proper program and volume settings are still set to your hearing aid. If you accidentally changed them, reset them back to the correct settings. If you need assistance changing them or don’t remember your settings, we are here to help.
  • Often, wax, dirt, and lint can build up in the controls. To clear them out, you will need to rotate dials or switch any switches a few times to clear out any lingering debris. Just don’t forget to set them back to your specific settings before putting them back in!
  • If the last step does not work, try thoroughly cleaning your hearing aid. Clear the tube, microphone, and earpiece of any wax, dust, lint, or any other debris that can collect and block the sound from reaching your inner ear.
  • Next, check your battery and the contacts on either side of the battery terminal. These contacts and the battery can become corroded and may need to be replaced.
  • If corrosion isn’t a problem, there may be moisture in your hearing aid. You can solve this by using a drying kit or a dehumidifier that removes moisture overnight while you’re sleeping.
  • If none of these troubleshooting steps solve the problem, come in and visit one of our hearing aid experts!

Issue #4: Whistling and Feedback

  • Check to make sure your hearing aid was correctly inserted. Try taking it out and putting it back in, and remember to keep your head straight ahead until the hearing aid is secured to ensure proper placement.
  • Try a different size earpiece or a closed tip dome earpiece instead for a different and more secure fit.
  • The whistling and feedback may also result from too much noise trying to get through the hearing aid, so try turning down the volume.
  • Next, inspect your hearing aid for any cracks in the tubing or the ear hook. If this is the case, bring your device in, and we will replace the parts if needed.
  • If you find that none of these steps work or the whistling persists, it could sometimes mean that earwax blocks sound from traveling through your ear canal. Blockages should be assessed and cleared by a professional, don’t do this yourself!

Of course, this does not cover all of the possible issues that can arise with your hearing aid(s), just the most common ones. It is certainly possible for you to have a problem that cannot be solved with this article’s information, so don’t stress! When in doubt, visit us at our office or give us a call, and we will most certainly be able to help you!

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Daniel Hewson

Daniel Hewson

Born and raised in Western New York, Dan Hewson comes to our practice with over 19 years of experience in the field. With a master’s degree in audiology from SUNY Fredonia, Mr. Hewson has extensive experience working in several of the largest Otolaryngology practices in the country, and also as a Regional Manager with Siemens Medical Audiology Division. Father, husband, and full-time employee with us, Dan is currently a student working to earn his doctorate in audiology; it should be completed by 2018.