Although the process might seem a bit overwhelming at first, it's also necessary. The alternative is trying to stumble through configuration yourself — generally a recipe for disaster.

Failure to effectively maintain your hearing aid through proper care and cleaning or trying to reconfigure the device yourself can not only void the warranty but may also result in personal injury.  It's better to leave it to the professionals. Even so, after some time has elapsed you may start to run into issues ranging from discomfort to feedback. 

It's better to visit an audiologist sooner rather than later, as readjustment and reprogramming are just as much a part of hearing aid maintenance as regular cleaning. Your ears do change over time, after all. As such, it's important that you learn to recognize the signs that your hearing aid needs to be reconfigured. 


Are you hearing volume fluctuations? Audio feedback and distortions? An irritating whistling sound? 

These could signify one of several issues.

First, it may indicate that, for one reason or another, the hearing aid is no longer properly fitted to your ear. In addition to irritating feedback, this can cause chafing or pressure spots in the ear canal. Not only is this uncomfortable in the short-term, but it may also result in permanent damage if left unaddressed. 

It might also signify that the hearing aid is in some way failing and needs to be replaced or repaired. Given that there's really no way to be certain on your own, your best bet is to visit an audiologist. They can better diagnose what's gone wrong, and reconfigure your hearing assistance device as necessary. 

Unexplained Hearing Loss

If your hearing aid no longer seems to work as well as it used to, or worse, if you're experiencing unexplained fluctuations in your hearing impairment, contact your audiology professional immediately. This may go beyond a simple configuration issue. Perhaps whatever condition caused your initial hearing impairment grew more severe over time.

You may have also developed a new condition that worsened your hearing impairment. Certain antibiotics and medications are also ototoxic, meaning they can cause temporary or even permanent hearing damage. A healthcare professional can help you determine the root cause, whether it's degenerative, the result of medication, or the manifestation of a new condition. 

Pain or Discomfort

Last but certainly not least, if your hearing aid has grown uncomfortable to use, there's a high chance that the earmold has deteriorated over time, and needs to be replaced. As we mentioned earlier, an improperly configured earmold may cause a wide range of issues. In addition to general irritation, it may cause micro-cuts, which could, in turn, result in an ear infection. 

Care and Configuration

If you're using a hearing assistance device, it's important to understand that periodic adjustment and reconfiguration are a natural part of care and maintenance. Just as a car's engine needs the occasional tune-up and your computer needs regular patches, so too does a hearing aid need to be tweaked every now and then. That said, some modern hearing aids automatically adjust themselves to your needs.

Even then, we'd recommend the occasional visit to your audiologist. Better to visit them and find out that nothing is wrong than to put off a visit and end up causing further damage to your ears, after all.