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How to fix common problems with receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids

How to fix common problems with receiver-in-the-ear hearing aids

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 audiologist.

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.

See our tips for adjusting to your hearing aids

Troubleshooting guide

What hearing aid problem do you have?

No sound or reduced sound quality

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 end of the receiver (loudspeaker) blocked?

Remove and clean the soft earpiece attached to the receiver. Check the wax filter to see if it’s blocked. Use a cleaning tool to brush away any blockages and replace the wax guard if necessary.

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 often get moisture in the tubing, you can buy condensation absorbing tablets to put in your hearing aid case overnight to absorb the condensation.

Buzzing noises

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.

Whistling noises

Does the earpiece fit firmly and securely inside your ear?

If there are gaps around the earpiece, the amplified sound can escape and cause a whistling sound that you or other people might hear.

Make sure you fit the earpiece in your ear as far as it will comfortably go.

If there are gaps around the earpiece, ask your audiologist for a larger or different shaped earpiece that fits snugly in your ear canal.

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 earpiece?

If it is, remove the earpiece from the receiver and brush the wax guard with a cleaning tool or replace it with a new one.

If ear wax is blocking your ear, ask your GP where your nearest wax removal service is.

Is the thin tube on the receiver split or damaged?

If it is, you’ll need to ask your audiologist for a replacement receiver.

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 earpiece 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.  

Find out if there’s an RNID hearing aid support service near you

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.

If you bought your hearing aids privately, contact your private hearing care provider if you need help with cleaning or servicing your hearing aids.

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.

Learn more about hearing aids

Contact us

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. 

Page last updated: 11 January 2022

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