While most individuals would like to wear hearing aids and have that be that, the truth of the matter is that hearing aids require daily care to ensure they work properly. During a hearing aid fitting – an appointment during which you’ll try your hearing aids on for the first time – your hearing healthcare professional will show you how to properly care and check your hearing aids on a regular basis.

Even with daily care, which includes cleaning hearing aids and storing them properly, sometimes the devices begin to act up. Before calling your hearing healthcare professional or setting up a potentially costly appointment, try troubleshooting the issue at home with these handy tips.

Is the hearing aid weak or dead?

If you find your hearing aids aren’t producing sound, the first step to take is to ensure the hearing aids are switched on. Sometimes during insertion, the on/off switch can be pushed, shutting the hearing aids off. Next, make sure the volume is at the level that works for you. Should the hearing aids be on and at the correct volume but still fail to produce sound, check the batteries. Check that the battery is placed with the positive sign facing up. Consider replacing the battery if you believe the current battery is dead.

Should the battery’s life be fine, make sure to check for any vent or receiver blockage. Because the ears continue to produce earwax, hearing aids can easily become coated, especially if they aren’t cleaned properly. Clean any earwax or other debris from key areas, such as the receiver or microphone openings, to make sure they are unobstructed.

Lastly, make sure any tubing is properly connected, without bending or twisting.

Is the hearing aid sound distorted or intermittent?

Distorted or intermittent sound could be the result of moisture in the tubing. Remove any moisture within the tubing with an air blower. Make sure the tubing is free of cracks or holes, as well. If the tubing is dry and intact, replace the battery, which could be weak or defective.

Is the hearing aid squealing or whistling?

Squealing and whistling noises coming from a hearing aid are signs of feedback. If you’re experiencing feedback, make sure the volume isn’t too high. Next, make sure the instrument is seated snugly within the ear canal; often times, hearing aids can become dislodged and will create unwanted feedback. Lastly, make sure the hearing aid is clean of debris and earwax.

When to contact your hearing care professional

Should none of these troubleshooting tips solve your hearing aid problems, contact your hearing healthcare professional for additional help. Your hearing specialist is well-versed in caring for and maintaining hearing aids and many can handle small repairs in the office!