Common problems with hearing aids

Below is a guide to common hearing aid problems and their possible solutions. Before understanding the problems that can arise, it's important to be familiar with the make up of a hearing aid.

The make up of a hearing aid

An open fitted hearing aid

An open fitted hearing aid

A moulded hearing aid

A moulded hearing aid








Hearing is intermittent or non-existent

If there is none or intermittent sound output, take the following steps:

  • Check battery is fitted properly and that the battery door is fully closed. Only then will the hearing aid switch on. If the hearing aid still does not work, the battery will need replacing. Please click here or here for battery issuing centre's.
  • Check that there is nothing blocking the mould, tubing or life tube and ensure tubing is not kinked. Sound will not travel properly if any there is blockage.
  • If you find condensation has built up, leave the mould and tubing in the airing cupboard overnight. If there is a blockage due to wax, clean it out. Information regarding cleaning is in your hearing aid fitting pack.
  • Check that the hook is not blocked or wet, if so, it will need replacing.

If none of the above work, please see the information provided for the SARC drop in clinics. All the details for SARC were given to you at your fitting appointment.

Hearing aid is whistling

If the hearing aid is whistling, it is likely that the mould or life tube is not properly inserted in your ear. In your fitting appointment, we would have showed you how to do this and you can check in the mirror to ensure its fitted properly. 

If you are having trouble inserting your hearing aids, please contact SARC or visit one of their drop in clinics.

Other things that can cause whistling:

  • Split tube. If tubing is split, it will cause sound to 'leak' and will need replacing.
  • Make sure your hearing aid is not covered by scarves, hats or anything similar. Sounds can bounce of these objects and cause feedback.
  • There may be an obstruction in your ear i.e. wax or an infection. Visit your local GP or nurse about this.

Using the telephone

If you are struggling to use the telephone, hold the receiver just above and away from your ear. This will ensure that sound will be directed into the microphone of the hearing aid. If this does not improve the quality of the sound, use an amplified telephone or a telephone with the loop system on.