Have you ever had your internet cut just as you’re almost to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? You sit there 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. Perhaps it’s your modem, could be your router, possibly it’s the internet provider, or possibly it’ll just fix itself. It kind of stinks.
Technology can be enormously frustrating when it doesn’t work properly. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. Most 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 when they quit working, your hearing loss symptoms can abruptly become a lot more frustrating. You’ve been disappointed by the technology you count on. Why would your hearing aids just stop working? So what should you do? Here are the three common ways your hearing aids can malfunction and how to troubleshoot and identify them.
Three common issues with hearing aids (and some possible solutions)
Hearing aids are sophisticated devices. Even still, there are some common issues that individuals with hearing aids may encounter. Here’s what could be causing those issues (and what you can do to correct them).
Feedback and whistling
Perhaps you suddenly begin to hear a terrible high-pitched whistling while you’re trying to have a conversation with a friend or relative. Or perhaps you notice some feedback. You start to think, “this is weird, what’s up with this whistling”?
Feedback and whistling can be caused by these possible issues:
- The tubing that connects 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 doesn’t appear damaged.
- Your hearing aids may not be seated in your ears properly. Try taking them out and putting them back in. 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).
- The functionality of your hearing aid can be affected by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll notice this comes up pretty regularly. Whistling and feedback are frequently one outcome of this type of earwax accumulation. 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).
If these problems are not easily resolvable, it’s worth speaking with us about adjusting the fit or sending your device in for servicing (depending on what we determine the underlying cause of that whistling or feedback may be).
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 definitely gone wrong if you don’t hear any sound coming out of your hearing aid. So what could cause hearing aids to drop all sound? Here are several things to look for:
- Power: Everybody forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Make sure that’s not the problem. This possible issue can then be eliminated..
- Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Examine your device for signs of earwax on the microphone or speakers or any sensitive bits. You want to make sure the device is good and clean.
- Your settings: If you have them, cycle through your custom settings. Your hearing aids may think you’re in a huge room when you’re actually in a little room because the setting is wrong. This balance could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
- Batteries: Make certain your batteries are completely charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it might be worth swapping them out for fresh ones.
If these steps don’t correct your issues, we may have the answers. Whether repair, maintenance, or replacement is your next step, we will be able to help you figure that out.
Painful ears while you’re wearing your hearing aids
Maybe your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when they’re in your ears. And you’re most likely thinking: why do my ears ache when I wear my hearing aids? This sort of discomfort is not exactly conducive to wearing your hearing aids on a day-to-day basis. So, why do they ache?
- Time: Usually, it just takes some time to get used to your hearing aids. How long it takes will depend on the person. It’s worth talking about when you purchase your hearing aids so you have a reasonable concept of how long it may take you to become comfortable with your devices. Also, speak with us about any discomfort you may be experiencing.
- 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. So when your hearing aids aren’t fitting very well, there can be some pain. Some models of hearing aid can be fit to the specific shape of your ears. Over the long run, you will have fewer problems if you have a good fit. If you come see us, we can help you achieve the best fit for your device.
Bypass issues with a little test drive
One of the best ways to prevent possible problems with hearing aids is to take them for a bit of a test drive before you commit. In the majority of cases we’ll let you try out a set of devices before you determine that’s the set for you.
In fact, we can help you determine the best kind of hearing aid for your needs, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you take care of any extended problems you might have with your devices. 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!