When it comes to improving your overall well-being, hearing aids are as important for your hearing as glasses are for your eyesight. But unlike glasses, hearing aids can fall prey to mechanical and technical problems from time to time. This can be a very frustrating thing to deal with if you don't know how to handle these issues. But if you find yourself coming across issues time and again with your hearing aid, it's essential for you to identify and troubleshoot specific problems. What are the common hearing aid issues and when is it time for you to take it into a professional?

The hearing aid isn't producing a sound

If your hearing aid isn't producing a sound, you need to examine it. You may find something straightforward blocking the microphone opening or sound outlet, such as earwax. If so, be sure to clean away any debris or build up. If this isn't a problem, consider testing the battery, or replacing it completely. As the hearing aid is usually powered on by closing the battery door, if it is not shut correctly, this could be due to the battery being upside down. And sometimes it's the most obvious thing; make sure that your hearing aid is turned on!

It is not loud enough

Hearing aids not being loud enough can stem from a few simple issues. There could be a blockage, especially if there's earwax obstructing the opening of the microphone or the sound outlet. If you wear a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, you should examine the tubing to check if there are any cracks or blockages. Additionally, the volume may be at a low setting. In this is the case, adjust the wheel up and down if you have a manual volume control setting so you can hear the volume altering. Also, consider whether your hearing ability has changed in any way. If it's been a while since you last tested your hearing, you should schedule one with your audiologist. They may attempt to adjust your hearing aids to accommodate any changes.

It sounds distorted

If the hearing aid sounds funny or distorted, the batteries need to be evaluated. If you see signs of corrosion, the battery needs replacing. On the battery itself, the little metal prongs that connect with the battery may also show signs of corrosion. It's worth examining this first, and if you notice corrosion, open and close the battery compartment a few times to clean the contacts. If this is still causing problems, you need to replace the battery. You should also consider whether the actual devices are the problem now. If you've been wearing them for many years, they may be at the end of their lifespan and not as effective as they once were. You should also check to see if you've switched to a wireless setting by accident. By trying a different program or memory, you could get it back to normal.

It is producing feedback

If your hearing aids are producing a whistling noise, or feedback, the hearing aids may not be inserted into your ears properly. Remove them and try putting them back in to see if this fixes the issue. If your hearing aids don't seem to fit anymore, especially if you've lost a lot of weight recently, you need to determine if new hearing aids or earmolds are necessary. Also, it may very well be that your ear canals are blocked, and it's nothing to do with the hearing aid itself. Because a blockage could cause feedback due to the sound bouncing off anything in your ear canal, this produces the feedback. You can also turn the volume up higher than usual, so you can hear better through the earwax, which is causing the additional leakage in sound.

If you are unsure how to progress with this, and you have tried everything, it may be time to take the device into your audiologist. If there are problems beyond standard troubleshooting, it is not worth causing additional damage to your hearing aids by opening up the device. It's far better for a professional to deal with it so they can assess the problem. They can tell you for sure if the hearing aid has given up the ghost, or if they can fix it there and then. If you have any concerns, you can contact Quality Hearing Aid Center at (248) 430-8791 to learn more and get to the bottom of the problem. While there are many common issues with hearing aids, if you try to fix it yourself without care and attention, you could cause more damage to the device.