Getting the Best Out of Your New Device: A Troubleshooting Guide

Audiologist and patient smiling into camera

Getting the Best Out of Your New Device: A Troubleshooting Guide

by | Sep 30, 2020 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources, Technology, Troubleshooting

Advanced technology hearing aids make a significant contribution to greater independence and a more rewarding lifestyle. Though they provide superior performance and greater clarity, they require proper care to function as designed like most high-tech devices. We are committed to helping our patients get the most out of their hearing aids, so we have put together a brief troubleshooting guide covering the most common issues experienced by new hearing aid users.

Problem #1: Wearing Discomfort

During the initial stages of getting used to new hearing aids, most users experience varying degrees of wearing discomfort, including:

  • Soreness and irritation around the ears are common complaints. The muscles and skin around your ear are not used to the foreign object’s weight and pressure. Take frequent breaks from the device by removing it. Decrease the length and frequency of breaks and build up wearing time while your body adjusts.
  • The amplification provided by your hearing aid is a shock to your brain, which has adapted to previous sound sensitivity. This shock creates stress and headaches. Taking breaks also helps this process while reading aloud to yourself will speed up adjustment.
  • An improper fit due to defective molding or damage to molded pieces causes wearing discomfort. If the pain is ongoing, consult us for adjustments.

Problem #2: Uncomfortable Sounds

As mentioned, the discomfort of sound is part of the adjustment process, but other issues are surrounding uncomfortable sounds will need to be addressed, such as:

  • The volume is too high. Adjust the volume to a comfortable level or reset proper programming.
  • Stiff controls might cause the device to get stuck at uncomfortable levels. Clear debris by rotating or switching controls back and forth, and then reset to proper programming.
  • Earwax or debris causes malfunctions. Inspect the unit for obstructions in the receiver, microphone, or vent holes. Daily cleaning typically prevents buildup issues.

Problem #3: Whistling or Feedback

Among the most uncomfortable sounds experienced by hearing aid users is feedback. A hearing aid is an amplification system, just like the equipment used at a concert or event. When something is in disrepair or not set up correctly, the equipment produces the high-pitched whistling sound of feedback. Feedback in hearing aids typically results from problems like:

  • Improper insertion. Remove the device and reinsert it using provider directions and mirror until insertion becomes second nature.
  • Volume too high. Reduce the volume level.
  • Microphone, tubing, or receiver blockage. Make sure these openings are not clogged with earwax or debris. Daily cleaning prevents this issue.
  • Cracks in the casings or tubing, loose wires, and other electronic malfunctions. Inspect the unit and bring it in for repair and maintenance if you encounter damage.

Problem #4: No Sound

The most common issue with new hearing aids relates to experiencing no sound amplification after inserting your device. There are several possible causes, including:

  • The unit isn’t on. Locate the switch and turn it on.
  • The volume is too low to produce noticeable amplification. Reset the volume to your preferred setting or programming.
  • Dead battery. Ensure that you have a battery with enough power to operate the unit and that it’s properly positioned in the device. Reposition, recharge or change the battery as needed.
  • Receiver tube or receiver blockage. The buildup of debris or earwax can block sound. Daily cleaning helps prevent this issue.

Pacific Hearing Inc. Provides Our Patients Followup Tech Support

Our troubleshooting guide should clear up the most common issues new hearing aid users experience. However, if you are still struggling to reap the benefits of proper hearing aid performance, the cause of the problem might be beyond the scope of what you can correct. 

The tech support team at Pacific Hearing is available to provide our patients will all of the necessary tech support to prevent or repair ongoing hearing instrument issues. 

Contact us for help with troubleshooting your device or schedule a tech support appointment to fix it for you.

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Gregory Frazer, PhD, AuD, CCC-A, ABA, NBC-HIS

Adjunct Professor UCSD/San Diego State U Audiology Program Adjunct Professor University of Pacific Audiology Program Adjunct Professor AT Still University Audiology Program Adjunct Professor Pacific University Audiology Program Dr. Gregory Frazer entered private practice Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing in 1982. For 14 years he owned and operated Hearing Care Associates, which had 23 offices and was one of the largest audiology private practices in the U.S. Dr. Frazer is a well-known clinician and teacher and was the first audiologist to obtain dual doctorates in Audiology, both a PhD. in Audiology as well as the new Clinical Doctorate of Audiology, the AuD. He is Board Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiology, and the National Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. Dr. Frazer specializes in the evaluation and treatment of vertigo, dizziness, and hearing and balance disorders. Dr. Frazer is experienced in working with infants, children, and adults. He is semi-fluent in Spanish and Sign Language.

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