Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

Three Sounds Your Child's Hearing Aid Should Not Be Making

When your child is too young to tell you exactly what's happened to a malfunctioning hearing aid, it can be a little tricky to troubleshoot. But if the device produces unusual sounds, you may be able to tell what the issue is and how to correct it. Here are three sounds that may indicate a problem.

1. Distortion

If your child tells you that there's something wrong with the sounds, such as a weak quality or an unpredictable fluctuation in sound coming from the device, the hearing aid may be experiencing sound distortion. This frequently occurs when the battery is nearly out of power, but it can also occur if the battery power isn't reaching the device correctly, meaning that the battery contacts need cleaning. It can also occur if there is a weak signal, so check for blockages in the earmold, tubing, and any other openings and carefully wipe any such blockages away.

2. Shrieking

A shrieking or "whistling" sound is generally caused by a feedback loop. A feedback loop means that sounds produced by the hearing aid are getting back into the hearing aid's microphone, feeding through it again and again until the sound is an unrecognizable jumble that sounds like a shriek. This is normal behavior when you're holding the hearing aid cupped in your palm, which is actually a good way to check that it's functioning before you place it in your infant child's ear. However, it should not be happening while your child is wearing it. A problematic feedback loop can arise in a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Excess earwax buildup
  • Poor earmold fit
  • Cracked tubing
  • Excess volume
  • Pressure on the hearing aid

Check for any of these circumstances and correct them, then see if the problem is solved. If not, you may need to get help from your audiologist.

3. Intermittent sounds

If the device is only transmitting sounds on a desultory basis rather than consistently, try the following steps to troubleshoot it:

  • Take hearing aid out and inspect tubing for damage
  • Replace battery
  • Clean battery contacts
  • Check settings
  • Obstructions in sound channels
  • Clogged earmold

After rectifying any of these situations you find, replace the hearing aid to check its function. Seek help from your audiologist if problems persist, since this indicates an internal malfunction.  

These three sound problems can cause a real headache for your child (literally) if not taken care of. With these tips, you can isolate and correct most sound problems, and your audiologist can help you with any that relate to the internal workings of the hearing aid itself.

Reach out to a business like Suburban Hearing Services for more information.