Have you ever had your internet cut just as you’re almost to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? You sit and watch that spinning circle instead of learning about who won that cooking competition. All you can do is wait around for it to come back. Maybe it’s your modem, could be your router, possibly it’s the internet provider, or maybe it’ll just fix itself. It’s not a great feeling.
When technology breaks down, it can be really aggravating. Your hearing aids certainly fall into this category. The majority of the time, your hearing aids will give you the means to stay connected to loved ones, have discussions with co-workers, and keep up with your neighbors.
But your symptoms of hearing loss can suddenly become very frustrating when your hearing aids stop working. The technology you’re depending on has failed you. How do hearing aids just quit working? So what can you do? Well, there are three common ways that hearing aids can malfunction, here’s how you can start to recognize and troubleshoot those problems.
Three common issues with hearing aids (and some possible solutions)
Hearing aids are sophisticated devices. Even still, there are some common issues that people with hearing aids might experience. Here’s what could be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix them).
Feedback and whistling
Maybe you suddenly begin to hear a terrible high-pitched whistling while you’re attempting to have a conversation with a friend or family member. Or maybe you notice a bit of feedback. You begin to think, “this is weird, what’s up with this whistling”?
Feedback and whistling can be caused by these possible issues:
- The tubing that attaches the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can occasionally become compromised. Try to examine this tubing as closely as you can and make certain nothing is loose and the tube does not appear damaged.
- Your hearing aids may not be sitting in your ears properly. Try to remove them and re-seat them. You can also try reducing the volume (if this works, you might find some short-term relief, but it also likely means that the fit is indeed not quite right and you should consult us about it).
- Earwax buildup in your ear canal can undermine the way your hearing aid functions. You’ll notice 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 talk to us about the best method to do that (don’t use a cotton swab).
Depending on the root cause of the feedback, we can help you deal with these issues if you can’t fix them on your own.
Hearing aids not producing sound
Your hearing aids should make, well, sound. That’s their primary function! So if you find yourself thinking, “I don’t hear any sound coming from my hearing aid,” well, then something is certainly not right. So what could cause hearing aids to drop all sound? Here are several things to look for:
- Batteries: Make certain your batteries are completely charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be switched out on occasion.
- Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Examine your device for indications of earwax on the microphone or speakers or any sensitive bits. You want to make certain the device is good and clean.
- Power: Look, we’ve all forgotten to turn on the hearing aid before. Check for this first. This possible problem can then be eliminated..
- Your settings: Cycle through the personalized settings if your device has 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 might be off as a consequence.
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, you feel pain in your ears
Perhaps your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when they’re in your ears. And you’re probably thinking: why do my ears ache when I wear my hearing aids? This kind of discomfort is not exactly conducive to using your hearing aids on a day-to-day basis. So, why do they hurt?
- Time: Sometimes, it just takes some time to get used to your hearing aids. Each individual will have a different adjustment period. It’s worth talking about when you buy your hearing aids so you have a reasonable concept of how long it may take you to get comfortable with your devices. Also, speak with us about any discomfort you may be experiencing.
- Fit: The most obvious issue can be the fit. After all, most hearing aids work best when the fit is nice and snug. 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 snug fit. If you come see us, 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 set of hearing aids, it’s a smart plan to try them out for a while. In most instances we’ll let you try out a pair of devices before you decide that’s the set for you.
Choosing the correct hearing aids, adjusting them to fit your needs, and helping with any extended problems you might have, are all things we will help with. We will be your resource for any help you need.
And that’s a lot more than you will get with an over-the-counter hearing aid!