Your quality of life is greatly improved through the use of hearing aids. However, for them to perform as expected requires proper care and maintenance as well as occasional troubleshooting. Most common hearing aid issues are easy enough to correct at home if you know what to do. As part of my commitment to help you get the most out of your hearing aids, here is a brief troubleshooting guide for new hearing aid wearers.
I’m not hearing any sound
If you do not hear any amplified sound through your hearing aids, there are a few possible causes and easy solutions to consider:
- Manually switching off the device is common during insertion. Move the switch to the on position.
- Users often turn down the volume in noisy places or by accident. Adjust the volume to the preferred level.
- If the battery is improperly inserted after cleaning, the unit will not function properly. Inspect battery position and rearrange as necessary.
- Users forget to charge the unit or replace the battery. Schedule a regular time to charge or replace batteries.
- Wax or debris can block the tubes or holes in the receiver. Inspect and clean your hearing aids daily to prevent this problem.
My hearing aid is uncomfortable, even painful
Just like new eyeglasses or a dental device, getting accustomed to hearing aids takes some time. In the beginning, it is quite common for many amplified sounds to be uncomfortable because your brain has been used to muffled sounds and has made adjustments. The shock of hearing the buzz of the refrigerator, street noise, children playing, and even the sound of your own voice causes discomfort and pain. Also, some physical discomfort around the ears from new hearing aids is normal. Follow these tips to overcome discomfort:
- Remove your hearing aids frequently to take a break from them in the beginning. Slowly decrease the rest time and increase the wearing time until you become more comfortable.
- Get used to your hearing aids in your home, a relatively quiet atmosphere, before taking on the noises of the outside world.
- Many of my patients find it helpful to read aloud to ease the transition, especially getting used to your own amplified voice.
- Make sure you keep your hearing aid adjusted to the prescribed settings to facilitate the transition and get the most benefit.
My hearing aid makes a whistling sound
The whistling sound you hear from your hearing aid is similar to the sound made by public address systems or stage mics that are improperly set up. Like all amplified sound equipment, your hearing aids produce feedback related to a few specific causes, including:
- Improper insertion is the most common cause of feedback. Use a mirror and follow proper insertion instructions until the practice becomes a common habit. Reinsert or adjust the positioning of your hearing aids as needed.
- A plugged receiver is another common cause of whistling. Be sure to clean and inspect your unit daily to prevent the buildup of wax or debris.
- Clothing or hair brushing against the unit causes interference. Make sure to keep hats, scarves, and other pieces of clothing as well as hair clear of the unit.
- Damage to the wires or the case also causes feedback. Do not attempt to fix these problems yourself. Hearing aid technicians have the right knowledge and tools to repair these problems and are more than happy to help.
I’m eager to help
My commitment to my patients is to provide them with the best possible hearing experience from their hearing aids. You can use this guide to help troubleshoot your hearing aids at home, but if you need some additional help, I’m eager to help. Contact me with questions concerning the performance of your hearing aids or for help with troubleshooting or maintenance.