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Troubleshooting a Hearing Aid



The following is a list of common problems associated with hearing aids and their solutions. If you cannot solve the problem, contact your local audiologist for more assistance.

The hearing aid is not working at all

  1. Check that the hearing aid is in the on position and that the volume is turned up.
  2. Check that the battery is working by using a battery tester. Also check that the battery is the correct size and that it is inserted properly into the hearing aid.
  3. Clean the hearing aid and the earmold if there is one. Inspect all the openings to make sure that they are not plugged with earwax.
  4. If the hearing aid is a Body Worn type, check that the cord is connected at both ends.

The hearing aid is whistling (feedback)

  1. Make sure the hearing aid or the earmold is inserted properly.
  2. Lower the volume if it is set too high.
  3. Remove scarfs or hats that may be covering the hearing aid. Sound can bounce off of these objects and return to the hearing aid and cause feedback.
  4. If the hearing aid is a Body Worn type, try and move the hearing aid further away from the ear. Also check to see that the cord is properly connected to the earmold and that the earmold is inserted properly in the ear.
  5. Feedback can also occur if the hearing aid or earmold no longer fits snugly into the ear. Over time, the size and shape of the ear changes and hearing aids and earmolds might become loose. Consult your local audiologist if you suspect that the hearing aid or earmold no longer fit well.

Decreased volume

  1. Check the battery to make sure it is still running properly.
  2. If the battery or the hearing aid are cold, allow them to gradually return to room temperature.
  3. Check earmold and the earmold tubing to be sure that they are not blocked with wax or moisture. Also inspect all the openings of the hearing aid to be sure that they are not blocked also. Clean the hearing aid or earmold if necessary.

Distorted sound

  1. Do the same things as you would for decreased volume above.

Short battery life

  1. Do not leave the battery in the hearing aid overnight.
  2. Do not leave the batteries in excessive heat or moisture. Store them in a cool, dry place.
  3. Correct any feedback/whistling problems. If the hearing aid is allowed to feedback, the battery will drain much faster.

The hearing aid doesn't work with the telephone

  1. Check that the hearing aid is in the "T" position if it has a "T" switch.
  2. Center the earpiece of the telephone over the hearing aid.
  3. Turn the volume of the hearing aid up.
  4. Some hearing aids, especially the ones that fit inside the ear, do not have a special switch for the telephone. If that is the case, hold the telephone over the hearing aid, but not touching the hearing aid. A small air space should be left between the hearing aid and the telephone. If the hearing aid continues to feedback (whistle) after all the above steps have been done, consult your audiologist as additional adjustments may need to be made to the hearing aid.

This article was submitted by:
Glen R. Meier, M.S., CCC-A, FAAA


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