Tips for when your hearing aids don’t work

Hearing aids are complex electronic devices; think of them as wearable computers. There are many reasons why hearing aids don’t work. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons.

your hearing loss has changed

Some patients go to their doctor with hearing aids they think “don’t work”, only to find their hearing loss has gotten worse as tests are scheduled. When hearing deteriorates, hearing aids no longer provide enough volume to make speech clear. Sometimes this is a simple fix that involves reprogramming the hearing aids to accommodate the new hearing loss. Other times, especially if it’s been more than five years, it’s time for a new hearing aid.

Keep in touch with your audiologist and have a hearing test every year (or earlier if you suspect a change). This way, your hearing aids can adjust to small changes in your hearing and allow you to maintain good hearing.

Hearing aids are not properly cared for

Hearing aids are tiny; a little bit of earwax or debris can clog them, preventing them from working optimally. Keeping hearing aids clean, changing wax shields, avoiding wearing them when using hairspray, and using dry hearing aids are just some of the ways to keep hearing aids working well throughout their lifespan.

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get cleaning help

If your vision or dexterity issues prevent you from cleaning your hearing aids well, most audiologists welcome you to make regular appointments for cleaning and examinations, or are happy to teach family members or caregivers how to put your hearing aids in the spire shape.

changes in the ear canal

When someone gains or loses weight, the shape of the ear canal changes. The shape of the ears also changes when someone gets older or undergoes certain types of facial plastic surgery. In some cases, these changes are enough to cause cracks to leak and allow air to flow around the hearing aid, resulting in loose fit and feedback. Too much wax in the ear canal can also cause feedback. This problem can be solved by removing excess wax or getting new ear prints and having hearing aids remade.

You need more than just hearing aids

For some people, hearing loss causes a lot of distortion, and they need hearing rehabilitation to retrain their brains to understand sounds. There may be an underlying auditory processing disorder, especially if there is a history of stroke or traumatic brain injury. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists can provide hearing rehabilitation alongside hearing aids. Other devices, such as FM systems, may be useful for people who have significant hearing difficulties in background noise.

Your hearing aids do not fit

Fitting is an important part of hearing aid fitting. Hearing aids may be refused if the sound is inaudible or too loud. Real Ear Verification gives your audiologist an objective view of how your hearing aids are affecting sound and ensures that your hearing aids are set up the way you want them to.

Wearing hearing aids can greatly improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss and those around them. Taking the time to work with your audiologist to discuss any issues that arise, and follow up regularly to maintain hearing aids and monitor hearing is an important key to success.