How to fix common problems with behind-the-ear hearing aids with earmoulds
Use our troubleshooting guide if you’re having problems with one or both of your hearing aids. There might be a simple fix.
If these tips do not work, or if you continue to have hearing aid problems, contact your audiology service.
If you’re new to hearing aids, it’s normal for it to take a while to get used to the feeling of them in your ears and the sounds you hear.
What hearing aid problem do you have?
Is the battery fitted correctly?
You should see the positive (+) side when you open the battery drawer. If the battery is fitted correctly, try replacing it with a new one.
Is the tubing or earmould blocked or damaged?
Check for any obvious blockages or signs of damage.
If there’s a blockage in the tubing or the channel that goes through the earmould, try to remove it with a wax pick or a puffer, which passes air through the tubing.
Wipe the earmould with a soft dry cloth, a tissue or a wetwipe that does not contain alcohol. Do not use any chemicals to clean your earmould, as they could damage it.
If there’s a blockage further down the tubing that you cannot remove, or if the tubing is damaged, you’ll need to replace it. You can do this yourself or get help from your audiologist.
If your earmould is damaged or you cannot remove a blockage, contact your audiology service.
Is there moisture in the tubing?
If you see condensation in the tubing, firmly grip where the tubing attaches to the hearing aid and give the tubing a few quick flicks to remove any droplets that might have collected.
If you have a puffer, which passes air through the tubing, detac the tubing from the hearing aid and use the puffer to remove the condensation.
If you often get moisture in the tubing, you can buy condensation absorbing tablets to put in your hearing aid case overnight to absorb the condensation.
If condensation continues to be a problem, ask your audiologist if you can have low condensation tubing.
Is your hearing aid on the hearing loop (T) setting?
This can happen accidentally sometimes. To check if this is the problem, turn your hearing aid off and on to reset it.
Does the earmould fit firmly and securely inside your ear?
If there are gaps around the earmould, the amplified sound can escape and cause a whistling sound that you or other people might hear.
Make sure the earmould is fitted correctly. If it is and there are still gaps around it, speak to your audiologist.
Is the hearing aid covered?
The microphones on your hearing aid will whistle if they are covered – for example, with a hat, scarf or headphones.
Is ear wax blocking the earmould or tubing?
If it is, removing the wax with a soft brush, wax pick or air puffer may stop the whistling.
If ear wax is blocking your ear, ask your GP where your nearest wax removal service is.
Is the tubing split or damaged?
This can happen at any time but is more likely to happen after 4 or 5 months of use. You can either replace the tubing yourself or get help from your audiologist.
Get help with hearing aid problems
If you’ve tried our troubleshooting tips and are still having problems with one or both of your hearing aids, your audiology service can help.
You should also see an audiologist if:
- the tubing or earmould is making your ear sore – this can easily be fixed
- you’ve worn hearing aids for a while and are not getting the same benefit from them – this might mean your hearing has changed and your audiologist needs to adjust your hearing aids.
See your GP if you have ear pain, earache or discharge from your ear – you might have an ear infection that needs treating.
NHS hearing aid clinics
If you have NHS hearing aids, you can get help with hearing aid problems at local hearing aid clinics. Contact your audiology service to find out where your nearest clinic is.
In some parts of the UK, RNID runs these clinics in partnership with audiology departments.
When going to the clinic, don’t forget to take your repair book and both hearing aids with you. Some clinics can visit you at home if it’s hard for you to travel.
Find out more about hearing aids
Learn about the benefits of hearing aids and how to get the most out of them, whether you’re new to hearing aids or have been using them for years.
If you are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus and need free confidential and impartial information and support, contact RNID.
We’re open 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Get more information by email
At RNID, we offer free information and support to the 12 million people living with hearing loss in the UK.
Sign up for a series of emails from our Information Team to find out more about getting hearing aids, including:
- the types of hearing aids available
- communication tips while you wait for them
- and how you can look after them.