How to Troubleshoot Common Hearing Aid Problems

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If you are experiencing hearing loss, you might have hearing aids. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss, and they can change your life for the better. Modern hearing aids offer personalized, custom-fit options for better results than ever before.

However, hearing aids are like any other technological device—which means you may encounter issues from time to time. If you experience problems with your hearing aids, here are a few simple troubleshooting steps you can use.

Are your hearing aids not loud enough?

  1. Use the remote control to turn up the volume, or turn it up directly on the hearing device. Try adjusting the volume up and down a couple of times, especially if you have a manual volume control wheel, to make sure you can hear the volume changing with the controls.
  2. Visually inspect your devices. Check for earwax blocking the microphone opening or sound outlet. If you have a behind-the-ear (BTE) device with tubing and an earmold, check the tubing for blockages, cracks, or beads of moisture. If the tubing needs to be replaced, contact your hearing practice.
  3. Try switching to a different program or memory. You might have accidentally switched your device to a different program from the one you usually use.
  4. If you haven’t had your hearing assessed lately, your hearing ability might have changed. If you think this is possible, contact your audiologist for a hearing test. They will then be able to adjust your hearing aids to accommodate any changes.

Are your hearing aids not producing any sound?

  1. Check that your hearing aid is turned on. If the battery door for your device won’t shut properly, make sure the battery is correctly positioned.
  2. Visually check your device. Make sure no earwax is blocking the microphone opening or sound outlet. If any earwax or other debris is present, carefully clean it away.
  3. Try changing to a different program or memory. After changing the program, listen for a few minutes to see if you can hear a difference.
  4. Turn up the volume on your device using your remote control or directly on the hearing aid. Turn it up and down a couple of times to check whether you notice a difference.
  5. If you have a battery tester for your hearing aid, check the voltage of the battery. If the battery is dead, replace it with a new one.
  6. If none of these steps help, your hearing aid might be damaged. Contact your hearing practice for further assistance.

Are your hearing aids producing feedback or a “whistling” noise?

  1. Turn the volume down. If the whistling noise stops when you turn down the volume, there may be too much sound leaking out. Contact your hearing professional to have the fit adjusted.
  2. Try removing your hearing devices from your ears and then re-placing them. They might not be properly inserted.
  3. Could your ears be blocked by earwax? If you think this might be a possibility, contact your hearing practice for a thorough cleaning.
  4. If you have lost a significant amount of weight, your hearing aids might not fit as they previously did. Contact your audiologist to have the fit evaluated and adjusted.

Do your hearing aids sound distorted or “funny”?

  1. Try switching your device to a different program or memory. You might have accidentally changed a setting or program.
  2. Check the batteries. If they look corroded, replace them.
  3. Visually examine the battery contacts, which are the small metal prongs that touch the battery when the door is closed. If the battery contacts look corroded, open and close the battery door several times to clean the contacts. Then, replace the batteries. If you need help cleaning the battery contacts, your hearing professional can assist.
  4. Is it possible that your hearing aids are damaged? If so, contact your audiologist for help.

Many hearing aid centers offer same-day appointments or walk-in hours for device repair and troubleshooting. If you need help troubleshooting your hearing aids, or if these steps don’t correct the problem, contact your audiologist for professional assistance.

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