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Ask Anna: What should I do if my hearing aids aren’t working?

Phonak Marvel hearing aid review

Dear Anna,

I went to put on my hearing aids today and they are not working. I am wondering if there are any tips I can use to try and fix my hearing aid before I visit my audiologist. What would you recommend?


– Emma

Dear Emma,

If your hearing aids do not work it doesn’t automatically mean they are broken forever. There are a few simple checks you can do before you go to your hearing care professional.

The first thing, although it sounds obvious, is to check the battery. Or if you have a rechargeable hearing aid check that the hearing aids are charged and that the charger is working properly. It is also possible with some hearing aids to check the status of the hearing aid battery through an app on the phone. The next thing to do is check for blockages or breaks.

How to fix receiver-in-canal hearing aids

Hearing aid blockage

For receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aids, you need to check that the wire is intact. Also, it is important to check that the little hole that the sound comes through and the dome are not blocked with wax. For breakages, you will need to get a new one from your hearing care professional. For wax blockages, you may be able to remove the wax with a tissue or a small brush that sometimes comes with the hearing aid.

How to fix behind-the-ear hearing aids

For behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids you need to check the tubing of the earmold/earpiece to check there are no blockages from moisture or wax. If you can detach the tube together with the mold from the hearing aid you can use a puffer to blow debris or moisture out of the tube. If there is wax blocking the end of the earmold you can use a tissue.

Earmold blockage

Hearing aid cleaner

Use this tool to clean debris from your hearing aid mold

How to fix in-the-ear hearing aids

Hearing aid blockage

For custom or in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, you need to check for wax/debris blockages

The wax can sometimes be wiped away with a tissue or you may have been supplied with wax guards that fit onto the hearing aid that can be removed and replaced. You may have been shown how to do this but if not your hearing care professional will be able to do this for you.

How to take care of your hearing aids

Follow these tips to help prevent any hearing aid problems.

1) Always try to put them in their protective case when you are not wearing them

2) Protect them from excessive moisture.

3) Protect them from extreme temperatures.

If you cannot fix the problem yourself then please return to your hearing care professional who will be able to help you.



Do you have a question for Anna? Ask her here!

The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Hearing Like Me website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency medical services immediately.


Read more: 3 Hearing Aid Care Tips for Summer

Author Details
Anna is currently the Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak. She has worked in the field of audiology and hearing aids for 25 years, and is passionate about all things audiology.