Hearing aids have a tendency to stop working. This is actually very common for a new hearing aid user. If you’re feeling frustrated, stop, you’re not alone. It is not uncommon for a new user to forget the recommendations provided during their hearing aid fitting that could help avoid this issue. The most common reasons your hearing aid might fail include: earwax, moisture, improper insertion, battery or tubing problems and accidental volume reduction.


Hearing aid mic, tubing or filter is blocked with wax or debris

Everything from the microphone guard to the receiver tube can get blocked with dust, earwax, or debris. This is actually the most common reason for a hearing device to sound quiet, weak or muted. If your hearing aid has a wax filter, try replacing it with a fresh one. You can also see if anything is blocking the microphone guard and/or wax filter and clean it with your cleaning tool (brush or pick). In case you forgot, all the parts mentioned above are included with your hearing aid and located in your hearing aid box and/or bag.


Humidity or moisture built up in your hearing aid

Check for humidity visible in the tubing of your hearing device and for corrosion in the battery door compartment. Always keep hearing aids away from water and always remember to open up your battery door to liberate condensation. If you identify moisture in your hearing aid, put the device in your drying kit and/or hearing aid dehumidifier. You can also detach the tubing from the device and gently blow air through the tube until it is dry (bottled compressed air is advised).


Hearing aid is not properly inserted

All hearing aids have a tendency to move or change position and it is usually related to jaw movement. As a result, talking or chewing can cause the device to move around and/or pop out. Always make sure the hearing aid is inserted properly in the ear, a simple look in the mirror goes a long way. If you use a dome on your hearing aid and its always working its way out, try adjusting to a smaller or larger size. Your audiologist can add a retention line if the problem continues. Also, be sure that the device is in the right ear and left device is in the left ear. Hearing aids will usually have an indicator to help you with this. The left device will usually have a blue indicator and the right device will always have a red indicator.


Battery issue (dead or wrongly inserted)

First things first, always check to make sure you have a fresh battery in your device and replace the battery regularly, as needed. Don’t forget to make sure that the battery is the appropriate size and that it is properly inserted. It is vital to confirm the battery door is completely closed and purchasing a battery tester is encouraged and will allow you to eliminate a battery issue quickly.


Hearing aid tubing is pinched (Connects hearing aid to mold or tip)

If your hearing device is positioned behind the ear, always remember to examine the tubing or wiring as well as check for cracks, pinching, tears and bending. Also, make sure that the tubing has not separated from the hearing aid. Your audiologist can usually replace these parts in the office, if needed.


Hearing aid is turned down or off (muted)

Most hearing aids can be turned off and the volume can be adjusted manually, so be careful and always remember to set your volume in a favorable position for your hearing. This may seem obvious, but it is important to check that the hearing aid is turned on. Occasionally, it can accidentally be turned off when inserting your device, and from time to time we just forget to turn it back on. It’s also very common when placing your device to unintentionally change the volume setting, so don’t get caught off guard.


If all else fails, your audiologist can recommend the best course of action.

If your hearing device is still not serviceable, it is prudent to call your audiologists office and ask for advice. In some cases, they can help you troubleshoot your hearing aid or you might be asked to drop the device off for a thorough inspection. They may be able to repair the hearing aid on site, but it is not uncommon to have to send it out to the manufacturer for repair. In some instances, you may have to schedule an appointment with your audiologist to determine if there is a physical fit problem with your device (may require a remake) or if your hearing acuity has changed (hearing aid adjustment is possible).


Andres Godinez Au.D.

Doctor of Audiology