Hearing aids are incredible devices, making use of some very advanced technology to deliver levels of clarity, amplification and sound processing than ever before. As impressive as they are, there’s no denying that problems can arise with that technology that makes them much less effective than they need to be.

If you’re having trouble with your hearing aid, your audiologist at Desert Hearing Care can help you find the fix it needs and carry out many repairs on the spot. However, here are some general troubleshooting tips if you want to try and fix it yourself, first.

Your hearing aid isn’t amplifying sound at all

This is a common problem, with some often-overlooked causes. If you have your hearing aid in your ear, but it’s not amplifying sound, first check to ensure that it’s turned on if it has a manual on/off switch. Next, check the volume setting to ensure it hasn’t slipped too low and turn It up.

Then, take a look at the battery. If the battery door is left open, won’t close fully or the battery itself is inserted upside down, it won’t power the device. Otherwise, the battery may be depleted and it could be time to try a replacement. Also, a blocked receiver tube can cause this problem, so check and clean it to see if that fixes it. Similarly, a microphone blocked by wax or dirt can have the same effect.

If none of the above work, then it might be time to arrange an appointment with your audiologist.

Your hearing aids aren’t loud enough

Start by ensuring that nothing is blocking the microphone opening or the sound outlet. Wax and dirt blockages in these parts of the device can muffle sounds.

Inspect the receiver tube. If it is blocked or dirty, clean it. If there is any moisture inside, gently dry it with an air blower. If the tube is cracked or otherwise damaged, you may need to take it to your audiologist for a replacement.

Turn up the volume and check any manual volume controls to ensure it hasn’t slipped down to a lower level. Different programming profiles can cause changes in hearing. If you have accidentally set the hearing aid to another program or memory, switching it back might help.

If none of the above helps, visit your audiologist. Not only will they help find the cause of the problem, but there may be differences in your hearing to account for that they can check, as well.

My hearing aid is making an uncomfortable whistling noise

A high-pitched whistling or ringing noise is known as feedback. This often happens when the receiver and microphone are too close together due to improper fitting molds or damage to the device.

First, try taking out the mold and refitting it. If the whistling noise stops when the mold is correctly fitted in your ear, then there is no cause for concern.

Wax can also cause feedback, so inspect the device, including the tubing, microphone opening and sound outlet for any buildups of wax that you can then clean out using the wax removal tools included in a hearing aid kit. To prevent this from happening in future, replace the wax filters and guards on the device.

Talk to your audiologist if none of the methods above help. Changing the dome size of the hearing aid may help or there may be a malfunction in the device that they can fix.

My sound cuts out something or can be inconsistent

The problem of inconsistent or intermittent amplification is most often the result of a faulty or drained battery. Check the voltage on the battery or replace it to ensure that you have a working battery in there, then try it again.

See if there is any wax or dirt in the microphone, tube and earpiece. If there is, clean it out and try wearing it again.

If your manual controls have dust or lint buildup in them, this can prevent them from reaching the settings they want. Use your hearing aid cleaning kit to dust the manual controls and ensure the device is on the settings you want.

If you have any other problems or the problems mentioned above persist after you have tried the steps as mentioned, you should make an appointment with your audiologist at Desert Hearing Care by calling (480) 374-1846. They are more than qualified to take a closer look at your hearing aid if problems persist. Beyond making hearing aid repairs on the spot, they can help with more complex problems by getting directly in touch with the manufacturer for replacements and parts while fitting you with a temporary replacement. You never have to live with a sub-par hearing aid.