Common Hearing Aid Problems

The first step of troubleshooting is to narrow down exactly what the problem is. Is your hearing aid completely dead? Or is it just too quiet, or do the sounds seem distorted? Defining the issue can help you to figure out why your hearing aids don’t work.

Some of the most common problems with hearing aids include:
  • No power or not turning on at all
  • Hearing whistling or feedback
  • Weak or distorted sound
  • The battery is draining too quickly or not charging
  • There’s too much background noise, making it difficult to follow conversations
  • The hearing aid isn’t connecting to Bluetooth
Several of these issues can have the same root cause. For example, wax blocking the tubes in your hearing aid could make the sound quiet, cause it to be distorted, or could block it completely, so that it seems like your hearing aid is not working.

Work through these troubleshooting steps in turn, and with a bit of luck, you may be able to fix the problem quickly and easily:

1. Check the Volume
If you’re either getting no sound or very quiet sound from your hearing aid, the volume control might be to blame. It sounds obvious, but it’s an easy thing to miss! Make sure the volume of your hearing aid is turned up before doing anything else. If you use an app with your hearing aid, make sure the sound isn’t silenced or turned down low on the app too.

On the other hand, volume controls that are set too high can cause whistling and distorted sound, so try turning down the volume to see if this helps. Excessive volume is one of the most common reasons why hearing aids whistle. If you find that you frequently need to turn your device volume up to max, it’s a good idea to get your hearing checked again.

2. Try a Different Program
Some hearing aids and accompanying apps have different programs to assist your hearing in different situations. If your hearing aid has multiple programs, try changing it to a different one and see if this helps the issue.

3. Turn Your Hearing Aid Off and On Again
Power problems with your hearing aid can prevent it from working completely or can cause distorted or quiet sound.

Opening the battery door and closing it again will completely cut off the power to your hearing aid, and then start it again. This has the effect of “jump-starting” the battery in your hearing aid, which is sometimes enough to get it working if it’s been off overnight.

4. Replace the Battery or Charge
If restarting your hearing aid hasn’t helped, it may just need a new battery. Replace the battery with a fresh one and try again.

Or if you have a rechargeable hearing aid, make sure to leave it to recharge for several hours in its storage box and ensure that it’s placed correctly to allow charging.

Rechargeable hearing aids do stop holding a charge eventually, so if you’re having problems with a rechargeable hearing aid you’ve had for several years, you may need to take it in for professional battery replacement.

5. Clean Your Hearing Aid
Hearing aids can become blocked by wax, dust, and other debris, and this can stop the sound from reaching your ears completely or make it muffled. Make sure you’ve given your hearing aid a good clean with a brush, and carefully check the filter to see if it needs replacing. You can also check our guide on how to clean your hearing aid for more tips.

6. Remove Moisture From Your Hearing Aid
Water and other liquids can cause all sorts of problems in hearing aids, from distorting sound to causing the entire unit not to work at all.

If your hearing aid isn't water proof and got wet, remove the battery first and get rid of as much of the water as possible with a flicking motion. After that, leave it to air dry for 24-48 hours.

If you have a special hearing air dryer or UV light, this will help to get rid of all the moisture much quicker. You can also place your device in a hearing air desiccant. If you don’t have a specialist desiccant, you can try the trick of leaving your hearing aid in a container of rice for 24 hours to draw out the moisture.

While it may be tempting to use a hair dryer to dry your hearing aid, this is not recommended as it is too hot and can damage the components.

7. Make Sure Your Hearing Aid Fits
A poorly fitting hearing aid is uncomfortable and can cause issues with volume and sound quality too, so it’s essential to be properly fitted for your device.

Even if you were fitted for your hearing aid originally, you may need to be refitted from time to time.

If you suspect your hearing aid isn’t fitting as well as it used to, contact one of our Connect Hearingprofessional for advice.

8. Check Bluetooth Devices are Paired and Within Range
Bluetooth connections can be unreliable with all sorts of devices, not just hearing aids. If you use Bluetooth on your device and you’re having problems, first make sure that you’re close to the device you’re connecting to. Electronic interference from other devices such as Wi-Fi routers can sometimes cause issues, so try moving to a different area.

If you’re still having issues, first turn your hearing aid off and on again, as this sometimes fixes the problems. If this doesn’t help, try re-pairing both devices.

9. Seek Professional Help
If your hearing aid was damaged and you’ve tried all these steps with no improvement, contact Connect Hearing or your local hearing care professional for advice. Your hearing aid may need professional servicing or repair.

Finally, if you’re experiencing persistent problems with sound volume or quality, your hearing may have changed. It’s best to make an appointment for a hearing test to make sure your hearing aid is still meeting your needs.

If you need any further advice on hearing aid problems, the team at Connect Hearing would be happy to help.