Have you ever been watching your favorite Netflix movie when your internet abruptly disappears? 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. Perhaps it’s your modem, might be your router, possibly it’s the internet company, or possibly it’ll just fix itself. It sort of stinks.
When technology breaks down, it can be really frustrating. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. The majority of the time, your hearing aids will provide you with 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 quit working. The technology you’re depending on has failed you. Why would your hearing aids just stop functioning? So how do you deal with that? Here are the three common ways your hearing aids can malfunction and how to diagnose and identify them.
Hearing aids can often have three common issues
Even though hearing aids are complex technology, individuals might encounter three common problems with them. Here’s what could be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix them).
Feedback and whistling
Maybe you suddenly start to hear a terrible high-pitched whistling while you’re trying to have a conversation with a friend or relative. Or maybe you notice some feedback. You begin to think, “this is weird, what’s up with this whistling”?
Whistling and feedback can be caused by these possible problems:
- Your hearing aids might not be seated in your ears correctly. Try to take them out and re-seat them. You can also try turning the volume down (if this works, you might find some temporary relief, but it also likely means that the fit is indeed not quite right and you should consult us about it).
- For people who use behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that attaches your earmold with your hearing aid might have become compromised. Take a close look to identify whether the tube may have detached or may be compromised somehow.
- Earwax buildup in your ear canal can undermine the way your hearing aid functions. You’ll notice this comes up pretty regularly. That includes making your hearing aid whistle or feedback. If possible, you can try clearing some earwax out of your ear or talk to us about the best way to do that (don’t use a cotton swab).
Depending on the underlying cause of the feedback, we can help you resolve these problems if you can’t figure them out on your own.
Hearing aids not generating sound
The main objective of hearing aids is to generate sound. That’s what they’re made to do! Something has undoubtedly gone wrong if you don’t hear any sound coming out of your hearing aid. So what could be the explanation when hearing aids work but no sound comes through? Well, there are a few things:
- Batteries: Make sure your batteries are fully charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it may be worth swapping them out for new ones.
- Your settings: Scroll through the custom settings if your device includes them. It’s possible your hearing devices are on the wrong custom program (so maybe your hearing aids think you’re in a concert hall instead of around the kitchen table). The sound you’re hearing could be off as a result.
- Power: Everybody forgets to turn their hearing aids on once in a while. Check for this first. Then you can cross that of the list of possible issues.
- Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Have a close look to see if you come across any earwax on the microphone or speakers. You want to make sure the device is nice and clean.
If these steps don’t correct your issues, we might have the answers. Whether repair, maintenance, or replacement is your next step, we will be capable of helping you figure that out.
Your ears hurt while you’re wearing your hearing aids
What if your hearing aids are working fine, but whenever you put them in your ears, your ears start to hurt? 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 using your hearing aids on a day-to-day basis. So, why do they hurt?
- Fit: The most obvious problem can be the fit. After all, most hearing aids work best when they fit tightly. So when your hearing aids aren’t fitting quite right, there can be some pain. Some hearing aid models can be fit to the particular shape of your ears. The better the fit, the fewer problems you’ll have with pain over the long run. If you come in for a consultation, we can help you get the best fit for your device.
- Time: Getting accustomed to your hearing aids will take some time. Each person will have a different adjustment period. When you first get your new hearing aids, we can help you get a realistic idea of the adjustment period you can expect. If uncomfortable ears remain, speak with us about that too!
Avoid problems with a little test drive
Before you decide on a set of hearing aids, it’s a good plan to try them out for a while. In most 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 identify the best kind of hearing aid for your requirements, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you manage any ongoing issues you may have with your devices. In other words, when your devices stop working, you’ll have a resource that can help!
And that’s a lot more than you will get with an over-the-counter hearing aid!