Common Hearing Aid Problems & How to Fix Them

Common Hearing Aid Problems & How to Fix Them

In Hearing Aids, Tips & Tricks by Dr. Jason Leyendecker

Dr. Jason Leyendecker
Latest posts by Dr. Jason Leyendecker (see all)

Hearing aids are a wonderful intervention for hearing loss with a proven success rate. A vast majority of hearing aid wearers report improved relationships in their lives once they’ve acquired hearing aids and most people would recommend them to a friend as a treatment for hearing loss. And yet, they can also require a period of adjustment to get used to. This can range from the complexity of letting your brain adjust to new levels of sound to the daily tasks or routine that comes along with wearing hearing aids. 

One of the most powerful things you can do to prevent serious damage to your hearing aids is to get into the habit of a daily cleaning and maintenance program. This means wiping them down every evening after wear and storing them safely in a dry place. 

Beyond daily care, you might run into an issue now and again. Even the simplest machines require maintenance every now and again, and that goes for hearing aids, too. Here is a handy guide to easily troubleshoot some of the more common hearing aid problems. 

If you aren’t receiving sound or if your hearing aids won’t turn on

Turn them off then on again

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it’s a classic because it works! The first thing to do if you are having trouble with your hearing aids is to simply switch them off and then on again. 

Inspect for blockages

Because hearing aids are worn in the ears, it’s likely that a build up of earwax will occasionally cause the sound to be muffled or even distorted. Examine your hearing aids, particularly around the microphone, and remove any excess earwax or other blockages. 

Check the batteries

The problem may lie within the battery arena. It may be that the battery door will not close. If this is the case, your hearing aids won’t turn on at all. Flip the battery around (it is likely upside down) and close the door. 

The problem may be with the battery itself. Try inserting your spare set of batteries to ascertain if the problem lies with the hearing aid device or the battery. 

You can also look for evidence of corrosion. This might look like crusty debris around the battery. Because hearing aids spend most of their time in a warm, moist environment, corrosion does occasionally happen. You can clean the contacts to deal with the debris.

If your sound quality isn’t ideal

Reinsert them carefully

If you are not getting the sound quality you are used to, try taking them out and reinserting them again. Sometimes, we are in a rush and the hearing aid seal is compromised upon insertion. This can happen to folks who’ve been wearing hearing aids for decades, but it’s absolutely more common in newer wearers. 

Check your program

It might be that the program you are on isn’t the one you are used to. You can do this manually, on the hearing aid itself. You may use an app to control the volume and programs on your hearing aid. If that’s the case, you should be able to toggle between programs through your smartphone or tablet. 

Check the volume

Your hearing aid might be working as expected, but the volume has somehow been changed. Again, you can check this by manually adjusting volume on the hearing aid or by app, depending upon how you prefer to manage your hearing aid’s controls. 

When you need to enlist help

There are other reasons for hearing aid problems that are simply beyond the average layperson’s expertise. Sometimes, a physical obstruction in your ear, like earwax, is actually what is causing a loss of anticipated volume from your hearing aid. In other cases, it might be that your physical body has changed, such as with extensive weight loss, and a refitting is in order. Our hearing loss levels can also change throughout the years, and it is necessary to have regular hearing exams to ensure that the way your hearing aids are programmed to work are in line with your current level of hearing. 

Consult your warranty for repairs

As with all machines, especially the ones we use daily, repair work is inevitable. Check your warranty to see what types of repairs and maintenance are covered with your initial purchase. The coverage varies from one manufacturer to another, and so it’s good to hold onto that information throughout the entire period the warranty covers. 

We are happy to help determine the cause of your hearing aid issue and can quickly work to solve whatever we find. Our team of hearing health professionals knows how essential hearing aids are to better hearing, and our goal is to get you connected with their peak performance as soon as possible.