Related Help Pages: Hearing aids Repairs

Troubleshooting common hearing aid problems

Contributed by | Friday, October 16th, 2015

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Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. Millions of individuals wear these miniature, custom-fit, digitally programmed and personalized hearing solutions every day. If you’re one of the millions who rely on hearing aids to keep you in the conversation, you know how important it is to quickly identify and troubleshoot problems.

We’ve listed the four most common user issues with hearing aids and included checklist for troubleshooting each of them. For ease of use, we ordered the checklists with the simplest fixes at the top. If you're not able to fix your hearing aids yourself, you may need to see a hearing care professional to find out what to do to get your hearing aids repaired.

My hearing aids aren’t producing any sound

  1. One portion of the 4-part troubleshooting guide for hearing aids from Healthy Hearing
    Still having trouble with your hearing aids?
    View our full checklist of suggestions for
    troubleshooting common hearing device
    problems
    Visually inspect the hearing aid. Is there wax blocking the microphone opening or sound outlet? Carefully clean away any debris.
  2. Make sure your hearing aid is turned on. Hearing aids are usually powered on by closing the battery door. If the battery door won’t shut easily, the battery is likely upside down. Take the battery out, flip it and try inserting again. If placed properly, the door will close easily.
  3. Turn up the volume. If you have a manual volume control, make sure it isn’t turned all the way down.
  4. Toggle between the programs or memories. If you have a button to change settings, press it and listen to see if that makes a difference.
  5. Replace the battery. If you have a hearing aid battery tester, check the voltage of the old battery to confirm that it’s dead before removing the sticker from a new battery.
  6. Consider whether the device may be damaged. Contact your hearing center for further assistance. They may have walk-in hours or same-day appointments for troubleshooting and hearing aid repair.

My hearing aids aren’t loud enough

  1. Visually inspect the hearing aids. Is there wax blocking the microphone opening or the sound outlet? If you wear a hearing aid with an earmold and tubing, inspect the tubing to make sure there are no cracks, blockages or beads of moisture.  
  2. Contact your hearing center if you need assistance replacing the tubing. They may have walk-in hours or same-day appointments for troubleshooting and repair.
  3. Turn up the volume. If you have a manual volume control, make sure it isn’t turned all the way down.
  4. Try a different program or memory. You may have accidentally switched to a different program.
  5. Consider whether your hearing may have changed. If it’s been awhile since your last hearing evaluation, you may need to schedule a check-up with your hearing care practitioner. They may be able to adjust your hearing aids to accommodate any changes to your hearing ability.

My hearing aids sound distorted

  1. Visually inspect the batteries. Are they corroded? If so, replace them.
  2. Inspect the battery contacts. These are the little metal prongs that connect with the battery when the door is closed. Are they corroded? If so, open and close the battery compartment several times to clean the contacts. Then replace the battery and see if the sound has improved. Your hearing care professional can also clean the battery contacts for you. Do they appear to make contact with the battery? If they are oriented appropriately, you may feel a bit of drag when you open the battery door or see scratches on the surface of a used battery.
  3. Try a different program or memory. You may have accidentally switched to the telecoil setting.
  4. Consider whether the device may be damaged. Contact your hearing center for further assistance. They may have walk-in hours or same-day appointments for troubleshooting and hearing aid repair.

My hearing aids are “whistling” or producing feedback

  1. If the hearing aids are whistling while in your ears, remove them and try re-inserting them. They may not be inserted properly.
  2. Turn down the volume. If the hearing aids are properly inserted and they stop whistling when you turn down the volume, there may be too much sound leaking out through the vent or around the earmold. You may need to have the fit adjusted by your hearing care professional.
  3. If you think your ear canals may be blocked with earwax, see your hearing care professional or physician to have your ears cleaned thoroughly. This blockage could be causing feedback in two ways: You turn up the volume higher than normal so you can hear through the wax, leaking out more sound than usual, and sound can bounce off any blockage in your ear canal and leak back out. 

If you’ve tried to troubleshoot and your hearing aids still aren’t working, see a hearing healthcare professional for assistance. They may be able to fix the issue in the office on the same day. If one or both of your hearing aids need factory repairs, your hearing professional can take care of that for you as well.

Have trouble remembering these? View and print our full troubleshooting hearing aid issues checklist

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