Advanced technology hearing aids allow users to enjoy a more independent and rewarding lifestyle. Like other types of digital technology, hearing aid performance relies on proper care and maintenance. New hearing aid users tend to encounter only a few common hearing aid problems, most of which require simple solutions. We have assembled those common problems and how to troubleshoot them as a part of our commitment to our Gold Country patients.

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Problem #1: Uncomfortable Sound

Some new users complain about sounds that cause them discomfort, but most of these issues come from simple causes with equally simple solutions, including:

  • Too loud. Reduce the volume level or reset to proper programming.
  • Controls are stuck. If controls are stuck at an uncomfortable level, rotate or switch controls back and forth to clear debris, and then reset to the proper settings.
  • Instrument malfunctions from earwax. Clean and clear of obstructions. Daily cleaning typically prevents these issues.

Problem #2: Whistling or Feedback

Because hearing aids are amplifying equipment, when they are poorly positioned, poorly maintained or damaged, they produce the same high-pitched whistling sound as sound systems at concerts or events. Identifying and making the proper adjustments will eliminate this issue, which usually includes:

  • Improperly inserted. Use a mirror to remove and properly insert the device following provider instructions.
  • Volume too high. Readjust the volume of the unit or reset to proper programming.
  • Microphone, tubing, or receiver blockage. Look for built-up debris or earwax and commit to practicing daily cleaning.
  • Unit damages. Inspect the instrument for cracks in the casings and tubing, loose wires, moisture, and other types of damage. Do NOT attempt to repair it yourself, bring it in for repair.

Problem #3: No Sound

The absence of amplified sound after inserting the hearing aid into your ear is a pretty common complaint among new users as well. Common causes related to this issue include:

  • Not turned on. Check to see if the switch is in the on position.
  • Amplification is not loud enough. Adjust the volume to the preferred setting.
  • Dead battery. Make sure the battery has sufficient power to operate the unit, and that it is properly positioned in the device. Recharge or change the battery as required.
  • Earwax debris or buildup blocking sound. Daily cleaning will help eliminate this issue.

Problem #4: Uncomfortable to Wear

New hearing aids, just like a dental apparatus or eyeglasses takes some getting used to. In the initial stages, most users experience varying degrees of wearing discomfort like:

  • Soreness or irritation around the ears. The weight and pressure of the unit contribute to these issues. Remove the unit and take frequent breaks in the early stages, decreasing their number and shortening their duration until your body adjusts.
  • Headaches and tension. Because your brain adjusted to muffled sounds, their sudden amplification shocks your brain as it adjusts to new sound sensitivity levels. Taking breaks will also help this problem. Some users find that reading aloud to yourself speeds up adjustment.
  • Damage or deformed molded pieces. This can be a manufacturing error or damage caused by extreme temperature or UV exposure. If wearing discomfort does not go away within a couple of weeks, bring your unit in to have it checked out.

Gold Country Hearing Provides Followup Tech Support

If you still have issues with your hearing aid after working through this list of solutions, the problem is probably beyond the scope of what you can troubleshoot by yourself. The tech support team at Gold Country Hearing can troubleshoot, repair, or replace damaged instruments as well as educate you on how to prevent ongoing hearing instrument issues. Contact us at one of our four Sacramento area offices for additional troubleshooting assistance or to schedule a tech support appointment.

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Dr Kimberly Bonney Au.D.

Dr. Kimberly Bonney Au.D., graduated with her Master’s Degree in 2001 from CSU Sacramento and worked at a non-profit hearing center in Sacramento. She then began working as an educational audiologist in Placer and Nevada County schools where she found working with children who were deaf and hard of hearing to be very rewarding. After she graduated from Salus University with her Doctor of Audiology degree, Dr Bonney bought the first Gold Country Hearing location.