Hearing aids assist you by allowing you to hear critical information, stay up-to-date on what’s going on, and enjoy casual conversation with family and friends. These quality of life essentials make troubleshooting and maintaining your hearing aid well worth the effort.

Recent advances in digital technology have made hearing aids worry-free compared to older models, but occasionally they go on the fritz. When they do, there are three main problems with relatively easy troubleshooting solutions.


Problem #1: No Sound

If there is no sound amplification after placing the unit in your ear, there are three main causes to check for and three simple solutions, including:

  • Is It On? If your hearing aid has a manual switch, check to see that it is in the on position.
  • Is the Volume Turned Up? Improper volume causes distortion, whistling, and feedback. Dead Battery? If neither of the first two issues correct the problem, it is likely that the battery is dead. Replacing the battery should fix the problem.

Problem #2: Uncomfortable Sounds or Whistling

Certain situations, like talking on the phone, conversations in a crowded room, or listening to the radio or television, can produce uncomfortable sounds or distortion from your hearing aid. Some discomfort is normal during the weeks and months of wearing new hearing aids, as the natural sound your brain is used to processing begins processing new sounds, but there are some mechanical issues that are the cause.

Uncomfortable Sounds Troubleshooting:

  • Some models require setting and volume adjustments for different situations.
  • Look for moisture, battery corrosion, or wax and other debris blocking the microphone.
  • Consider a digital upgrade, as older models require extensive adjustment to produce favorable results.

Whistling and Feedback Troubleshooting:

  • Check for a proper fit. An improper fit will cause these issues. Remove your hearing aid and replace it in your ear.
  • Turn down the volume. Whistling or feedback is the result of sound “overloaded” (like a squealing microphone).
  • Inspect the unit. Check for cracks in the tubing, casing, and earhook, and have them replaced as necessary.

Problem #3: Uncomfortable to Wear

Just like any foreign object in and on your ear, new hearing aids are uncomfortable. Over time, your ears will adjust to the discomfort. However, if the discomfort persists, the cause might be an ill-fitted hearing aid. Consider these solutions:

  • Change to a different type or size. Various shapes and sizes simply don’t work for everyone.
  • Professional custom fitting. If you bought your hearing aid off the shelf, it is not properly contoured to fit your ear. Custom-fitting will help resolve this issue.

Most typical hearing aid problems result from poor device quality, improper fitting, maintenance failures, or misinformation and poor guidance through the adjustment period associated with new hearing aids. Working with hearing care professionals, like those at Hearing At Home, allows for a seamless adjustment period. We want our West Virginia and Harrisonburg area clients to get the best sound quality and comfort possible from wearing your hearing aids. Contact us for more help troubleshooting your hearing aids or adjusting to wearing them.


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Michael Combs

Prior to co-founding Hearing at Home in 2016, Michael worked for a variety of practices in the Harrisonburg, VA area. He is trained in a wide range of hearing devices and tinnitus therapy. Michael is passionate about bringing healing to people who have been through terrible experiences related to auditory damage. He helps his clients, who include young people, adults and families, with hearing-related issues to learn to enjoy life again and to strengthen their relationships with friends and family through better hearing.