Greater independence and a more rewarding lifestyle are among the many benefits provided through the use of advanced technology hearing aids. However, just like other types of technology, the performance of your hearing aids require proper care. Most issues encountered by hearing aid users arise from simple causes, which can be solved using simple solutions. As a part of our commitment to educating our Redding, CA clients on how to get the most out of your hearing aids, we have compiled a brief troubleshooting guide for dealing with some of the most common hearing aid problems.


Problem #1: No Sound

If you have inserted the hearing aid into your ear, but are experiencing no sound amplification, there are several possible causes:

  • The unit is off. Check the switch and turn it on.
  • Volume too low to produce audible amplification. Reset the volume to your preferred setting.
  • Next, check the battery. Make sure the battery is charged and properly positioned in the device. Recharge or change the battery as necessary.
  • Look for the receiver tube or receiver blockage from debris or earwax buildup. Daily cleaning prevents this issue.

Problem #2: Uncomfortable Sound

The opposite issue of no sound is the issue of uncomfortable sounds, which tend to stem from any of several causes, like:

  • The volume is too high. Turn down the volume or adjust to proper programming.
  • Sticky controls can cause the device to slip or get stuck at uncomfortable levels. Rotate or switch the controls back and forth to clear debris, and then reset to the proper settings.
  • Earwax or debris buildup causes malfunctions. Make sure the unit is clean and clear of obstructions. Daily cleaning typically prevents these issues.

Problem #3: Whistling or Feedback

Just like amplified equipment at a concert or event often produces the high-pitched whistling sound of feedback, so do your hearing aids. If you are experiencing hearing aid feedback, the issue usually relates to one of the following problems:

  • Improper insertion causes feedback. Remove and reinsert the device according to provider instructions, using a mirror if necessary.
  • Too much volume reverberates, causing feedback. Turn down the volume.
  • Microphone, tubing, or receiver blockages can also contribute to feedback. Make sure the unit is cleaned and maintained properly.
  • Cracks in the casings or tubing, loose wires, and other electronics issues cause feedback. Inspect the unit and take it in for repair if you notice any damage.
  • A poor-fitting mold will also produce feedback. Return to your provider to replace the earpiece type or for refitting.

Problem #4: Uncomfortable to Wear

Getting used to new hearing aids is a common issue for most users. During the initial stages, most users experience varying degrees of wearing discomfort such as:

  • Soreness or irritation around the ears is common as your body gets used to the weight and pressure of the unit. Give your skin and muscles a break by removing the device. Work toward shortening the duration of breaks and lengthening wearing time as your body adjusts.
  • The amplification from the device shocks your brain as it adjusts to new levels of sound sensitivity. Take breaks to reduce stress and headaches. Reading aloud to yourself can help speed up adjustment.
  • Improper molding or damage (extreme temperature or UV exposure) to molded pieces add to wearing discomfort. If wearing discomfort is ongoing, take your unit to your provider for repair or a better fit.

Upstate Hearing Instruments Provides Followup Tech Support

If you have worked your way through the various troubleshooting tips listed in our guide, but are still struggling to receive the benefit of proper hearing aid performance, the issue could relate to something beyond the scope of what you are able to correct.

The tech support team at Upstate Hearing Instruments is here to provide the necessary tech support to prevent or repair ongoing hearing instrument issues. Contact us for additional troubleshooting help or to schedule a tech support appointment to have us look at your device.

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Kenneth H. Wood, BC-HIS

After earning a degree in electronics in 1982, Ken began his career by doing hearing aid repairs. As a hearing device user since he was eight and now with over 30 years of experience fitting hearing aids, Ken personally understands the unique problems and solutions associated with hearing loss and hearing devices.