Dr. Thomas Tedeschi
Chief Audiology Officer, Miracle-Ear
Miracle-Ear Chief Audiology Officer Dr. Thomas Tedeschi answers some of your common hearing-related questions.
Q: My hearing aids don’t seem to be working properly. What should I do?
A: Hearing aids are amazing devices—except when they’re not working properly. Just like other pieces of technology, they can sometimes experience technical issues. Take a look at some common hearing aid problems and how you can solve them.
Common Hearing Aid Issues
There are several hearing aid issues that can typically be solved by some simple troubleshooting steps and may not require hearing aid repairs. These include:
- “My hearing aids aren’t producing any sound.”
- “My hearing aids are producing sound, but it’s too soft or distorted.”
- “My hearing aids are producing a whistling or buzzing noise.”
If your hearing aid has been physically damaged, the case has been cracked or it doesn’t fit properly anymore, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional.
Troubleshoot Hearing Aid Problems
Most common hearing aid issues can be solved be checking the settings or cleaning out wax or debris. Follow these steps if you’re experiencing the problems listed above.
- Make sure your hearing aid is turned on. This may seem obvious, but hey, it happens to all of us!
- Remove your hearing aid and re-insert it. It may not have been placed in your ear properly.
- If your hearing aid has a manual volume control, make sure it isn’t turned all the way off.
- Make sure the battery is placed in your hearing aid properly.
- Try replacing your hearing aid battery, or, if you have a rechargeable battery, charging it.
- Make sure there’s no ear wax or other debris in the earpiece and clean if necessary.
- Toggle between the programs or change settings to see if this makes a difference. You may have accidentally switched to a different one.
- It’s possible that you accidentally turned on the loop or t-coil setting. If you have, turn this back to the normal microphone setting.
If these steps don’t work, it may be time to see your hearing care professional.
Keep Your Hearing Aid Clean and Cared For
While there are some simple ways to troubleshoot hearing aid issues, it’s best to prevent problems before they even happen. The most effective way to do this is to clean and care for your hearing aids regularly. Here are some simple tips:
- Make cleaning and caring for your hearing devices a consistent part of your daily routine.
- Remember to remove your hearing aids when showering, taking a bath or even washing your face.
- Tools like a dry cloth, a pick and brush and a dehumidifier combat both moisture and wax.
Similarly, keeping your ears themselves clean will help minimize issues like debris and moisture in your hearing aids.
When Hearing Aid Repairs Are Needed
If you’re not able to solve your hearing aid issue on your own, the next step would be to see your hearing care professional. Schedule an appointment if:
- You’ve tried the troubleshooting steps and they aren’t working.
- Your hearing aid has been physically damaged. For example, there may be a crack in the case or a piece is missing.
- You believe part of the issue is that your hearing has changed and you need your hearing aid re-programmed.
Depending on the type of repairs needed, your provider may be able to do them in-store during your appointment. Sometimes, however, that’s not possible and they have to be sent to the manufacturer for the necessary repairs.
Types of Hearing Aid Repairs
There are several things that may be wrong with your hearing device if your troubleshooting. Some common things that your hearing care professional or the manufacturer may need to repair include:
- Internal tubing - This connects the hearing aid to the receiver and can get clogged with wax.
- Microphone - If you're having trouble with sound, the microphone is likely the culprit.
- Case - If this is damaged or cracked it will most likely need to go to the manufacturer for repairs.
- Battery compartment - It’s possible the battery was just put in the wrong way, but if it’s more than this you may need the battery compartment repaired or replaced.
How Much Do Hearing Aid Repairs Cost?
Many hearing aids come with a warranty when you purchase them. This is something you should consider when speaking with hearing care professionals and deciding what hearing aid provider to choose. Miracle-Ear offers a limited 3-year warranty that covers all repairs, so you can always make sure your hearing aid is working exactly as it should.
Did you drop your hearing aids in the lake? Maybe your dog thought they were a chew toy? Some hearing aid issues are not a simple fix, which is why we offer our limited 3-year warranty. We're here for you so that your hearing aids are, too.