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Hearing Aid Trouble Shooting Guide

Posted on: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by Nicola George

Vaitheki MaheswaranHearing aids are delicate instruments and require special care to make sure they continue to work well. Ensure your audiologist shows you how to care for your hearing aids and check them. If you have an issue with your hearing aid and aren’t sure what’s causing it, check the following guide.

If there isn't any sound coming from the hearing aid ensure you check:

  • If the battery is flat
Change the battery, batteries should last about 1 or 2 weeks. Make sure the new battery has a sticker attached (if not it may be an old one) and make sure the sticker is removed before the battery is inserted into the hearing aid. Check that your battery is inserted correctly, with the '+' and '-' symbols the right way round. You can also use a battery tester to check the strength of the battery. Ensure the battery compartment is closed properly.
  • If the tubing is blocked
If you have an earmould, look to see if there is any wax in it. If you can, pick the wax out with a pin or something similar. If the wax is too far in, detach the earmould with the tube from the hearing aid and wash it in warm soapy water. If you have an open fit, clean it out using the cleaning tool provided by your audiologist. If this makes no difference you will need to have your tube changed. Also check that the tubing isn’t bent or twisted and connected properly.
  • If the hearing aid is on the correct program/ volume
Ensure you haven’t adjusted the program or volume control by mistake. Reset the hearing aid by opening and closing the battery compartment.
  • If the microphone opening is blocked
If it is, use a small brush to clean away any debris.

If you find the hearing aid is no longer as loud as it should be, distorted or intermittent, verify if:
  • The tubing needs changing
Tubing and domes need to be changed every 4-6 months. As the plastic degrades the quality of the sound is affected. Book an appointment with your audiologist. If you have spare tubing you can retube the earmould yourself (you can ask your audiologist to be shown how to do this).
  • There is moisture in the tube
Condensation or a water lock can prevent sound getting from the hearing aid to your ear. This can also cause the sound to be intermittent. Separate the tube from the aid (as you would if you were washing the mould) and shake out any moisture you can see.
  • The hearing aids are on the on the correct ear pieces
Your hearing aids are programmed to the loss in each ear. It is important not to get them mixed up. If the aids have been switched around they may sound strange or off balance. Most hearing aids are colour coded, red for right and blue for left.

If you find the hearing aids to whistle, you will need to check if:
  • The earpiece is in correctly
If it is not in your ear correctly sound can escape and be picked up by the hearing aid. This creates a feedback loop and the hearing aid will whistle. If you are unsure whether or not your earpiece is in correctly ask a friend or family member to look at it or return back to your audiology department.
  • The tubing is damaged or split
If the tubing is quite old (over 4 -6 months) it may have got damaged through wear and tear. This is more common with open fits then with tubing in a mould. If it is damaged the tubing needs to be replaced
  • Your ears are blocked with wax
If you get wax removed on a regular basis it may be time to go again. Wax is one of the main causes of whistling. If you are unsure, make an appointment with the nurse/ doctor at the GP to have your ears checked
  • The volume is set too high
Try reducing the volume and see if the feedback stops

These are general problems with hearing aids. If you have looked through the list above and are still having problems please arrange a repair appointment with your audiology department.


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