Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Man having troubles with his hearing aids while trying to communicate with his friend.

Have you ever had your internet cut just as you’re almost to the best part of your favorite Netflix show? You sit and watch that spinning circle instead of learning about who won that cooking competition. And so you just wait. Maybe it’s your modem, might be your router, possibly it’s the internet provider, or possibly it’ll just fix itself. It’s not a great feeling.

Technology can be enormously frustrating when it doesn’t work properly. The same is certainly true of your hearing aids. When they’re working properly, hearing aids can help you stay connected with the ones you love and better hear co-workers when they speak to you.

But when they stop working, your hearing loss symptoms can suddenly become much more frustrating. You’ve been disappointed by the technology you count on. Why would your hearing aids just stop functioning? So what can you do? Well, there are three common ways that hearing aids can malfunction, here’s how you can start to identify and troubleshoot those issues.

Hearing aids can often have three common issues

Even though hearing aids are sophisticated technology, people may experience three common problems with them. Here’s what might be causing those issues (and what you can do to fix them).

Feedback and whistling

So, perhaps you’re trying to have a chat with your family or watch your favorite television show and you begin to notice a dreadful whistling sound. Or perhaps you detect a little bit of feedback. And so you think, “Why do I hear whistling in my hearing aids? This is strange”.

Feedback and whistling can be caused by these possible problems:

  • You might not have your hearing aids seated properly in your ears. Try removing them and putting them back in. If the fit isn’t correct you may need to come in so we can help you get a better fit.
  • The functionality of your hearing aid can be impacted by earwax buildup in your ear canal. You’ll find this comes up fairly often. That includes making your hearing aid whistle or feedback. If possible, you can try clearing some earwax out of your ear or talk to us about the best way to do that (don’t use a cotton swab).
  • For those who use behind-the-ear hearing aids, the tubing that attaches your earmold with your hearing aid might have become compromised. Try to examine this tubing as well as possible and make certain nothing is loose and the tube does not appear damaged.

If these problems are not easily resolved, it’s worth speaking with us about adjusting the fit or sending your device in for maintenance (depending on what we think the root cause of that whistling or feedback might be).

No sound coming from your hearing aids

Your hearing aids are supposed to make, well, sound. That’s what they’re created to do! So if you find yourself thinking, “I can’t hear any sound in my hearing aid,” well, then something is certainly not right. So what could cause hearing aids to drop all sound? Here are some things to look for:

  • Earwax buildup: Yup, earwax strikes again. Take a close look to see if you come across any earwax on the speakers or microphone. You want to make certain the device is nice and clean.
  • Power: Look, we’ve all forgotten to turn on the hearing aid before. Make certain that’s not the issue. This potential issue can then be eliminated..
  • Your settings: If you have them, flip through your custom settings. It’s feasible your hearing devices are not on the right custom setting (so maybe your hearing aids think you’re in a gymnasium instead of at the kitchen table). This incorrect setting could throw off the sound you’re hearing.
  • Batteries: Make sure your batteries are completely charged. And whether your batteries are rechargeable or not, it may be worth swapping them out for fresh ones.

If these steps don’t address your problems, we may have the answers. Whether repair, maintenance, or replacement is your next step, we will be able to help you figure that out.

Your ears hurt while you’re wearing your hearing aids

Maybe your hearing aids are fine functionally but they hurt when you put them in. And you’re probably thinking: why do my ears ache when I wear my hearing aids? This kind of discomfort isn’t exactly conducive to wearing your hearing aids over the long term. So, why do they ache?

  • Time: Sometimes, it just takes a little while to get accustomed to your hearing aids. Each person will have a different adjustment period. When you first get your new hearing aids, we can help you get a reasonable concept of the adjustment period you can expect. If uncomfortable ears persist, speak with us about that as well!
  • Fit: The most obvious problem can be the fit. Needless to say, when the fit is nice and tight, your hearing aids will work best. Which means that there can occasionally be discomfort involved in a poor fit. Some models of hearing aid can be fit to the specific shape of your ears. The better the fit, the fewer issues you’ll have with discomfort over the long haul. We will be able to help you get the best possible fit from your devices.

Take your new hearing aid out for a test ride

Before you commit to a set of hearing aids, it’s a smart idea to try them out for a while. In the majority of cases we’ll let you try out a pair of devices before you decide that’s the pair for you.

As a matter of fact, we can help you figure out the best kind of hearing aid for your needs, adjust the fit to match your ears, and help you manage any ongoing problems you might have with your devices. In other words, when your devices quit working, you’ll have a resource that can help!

And that’s a lot more than you will get with an over-the-counter hearing aid!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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