Have you ever been watching your favorite Netflix movie when your internet suddenly disappears? Instead of finding out who won the baking show, you have to watch a never-ending spinning circle. All you can do is wait around for it to come back. Is it your internet provider, modem, router, or maybe it will simply come back on its own? It sort of stinks.
Technology can be tremendously aggravating when it doesn’t work properly. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. When they’re working correctly, hearing aids can help you remain connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they speak to you.
But your symptoms of hearing loss can suddenly become extremely frustrating when your hearing aids quit working. The technology you’re counting on has let you down. Why would your hearing aids just stop working? So what should you do? Here are the three common ways your hearing aids can fail and how to troubleshoot and identify them.
Three common issues with hearing aids (and some possible solutions)
Hearing aids are complex devices. Even still, there are some common issues that people with hearing aids may experience. Here’s what could be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix them).
Whistling and feedback
Perhaps you suddenly start to hear an awful high-pitched whistling while you’re attempting to have a conversation with a friend or relative. Or perhaps you notice some feedback. You start to think, “this is strange, what’s up with this whistling”?
Here are three possible problems that could be causing this whistling and feedback:
- The tubing that connects the hearing aid with the earmold, on behind-the-ear models, can sometimes become compromised. Take a close look to see if the tube may have separated or might be damaged somehow.
- The functionality of your hearing aid can be impacted by earwax accumulation in your ear canal. You’ll find this comes up fairly often. Whistling and feedback are often one result of this type of earwax accumulation. If possible, you can attempt to clean some earwax out of your ear or talk to us about the best way to do that (don’t use a cotton swab).
- You may not have your hearing aids correctly positioned in your ears. Try to take them out and re-seat them. If the fit isn’t right you may need to come see us so we can help you get a better fit.
If these problems are not easily resolvable, it’s worth consulting with us about correcting the fit or sending your device in for maintenance (depending on what we think the root cause of that whistling or feedback may be).
Hearing aids not producing sound
The main goal of hearing aids is to generate sound. That’s what they’re created to do! Something has undoubtedly gone wrong if you can’t hear any sound coming from your hearing aid. So what could be the explanation when hearing aids work but no sound comes out? Well, there are a couple of things:
- Your settings: Cycle through the personalized settings if your device includes them. Your hearing aids might think you’re in a very large space when you’re actually in a little room because the setting is wrong. The sound you’re hearing may be off as a result.
- Earwax buildup: Here we go again with the earwax! Have a close look to see if you find any earwax on the speakers or microphone. Keep your device really clean.
- Batteries: If you have rechargeable batteries, make certain that they are completely charged. And even rechargeable batteries should be swapped out on occasion.
- Power: Look, we’ve all forgotten to turn on the hearing aid before. Check for this first. This potential issue can then be eliminated..
If these steps don’t correct your problems, we might have the answers. We’ll be able to help you identify the next steps, and whether maintenance, repair, or replacement is required.
Your ears hurt while you’re wearing your hearing aids
What if your hearing aids work perfectly, but every time you put them in your ears, your ears start to hurt? And you’re most likely thinking: why do my ears hurt when I use my hearing aids? You’re not as likely to use your hearing aids on a daily basis if they hurt your ears. So, why do they ache?
- Fit: The most evident problem can be the fit. Naturally, when the fit is nice and tight, your hearing aids will work best. Which means that there can sometimes be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Many hearing aids can be customized to your specific ears. The better the fit, the fewer problems you’ll have with discomfort over the long run. If you come see us, we can help you achieve the best fit for your device.
- Time: Getting used 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 reasonable concept of the adjustment period you can expect. Also, talk to us about any discomfort you might be having.
Bypass issues with a little test drive
One of the best ways to avoid possible problems with hearing aids is to take them out for a bit of a test run before you decide. Most of the time we will have loaner pairs for you to try out before you make a decision.
Choosing the right hearing aids, adjusting them to fit your needs, and helping with any ongoing 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!