Top 10 Reasons Your Hearing Aids Don’t Work

#10. Your ability to understand speech is too poor. "I Don't Understand You..."

Part of a hearing test indicates how well you can understand speech.  This is called a Word Recognition score.  A large part of your success with hearing aids hinges on having a high percentage of words correct.  If you score below 40%, hearing aids may not be the best treatment option for you.

#9.  Your hearing aids were not fit by a Board-Certified Doctor of Audiology

The education of hearing care professionals can range from a high school degree to a Doctorate.  Consumer Reports identified that you are likelier to have success with hearing aids when fit by a Doctor of Audiology.

#8. You don't use a remote microphone

While hearing aids have continuously improved since their creation, they still struggle in background noise.  The best way to hear in background noise is to use a remote microphone.  This can drastically reduce background noise and help you hear the person you want to hear.

#7.  You aren't wearing the right hearing aid

Hearing aids are not one size fits all.  If you don't have a hearing aid that doesn't meet your needs, it will not work.  Unfortunately, hearing aids are often dispensed based on what benefits the provider, not what benefits you.

#6.  You never set goals with your hearing care provider

If your provider doesn't know what you want to hear, how are they going to ensure you are having success?  Success with hearing aids should be measured, not assumed.

#5.  Your hearing was only tested with "beeps"

Every hearing test should include a measurement of how well you hear in noise with speech material.  After all, when is the last time someone talked to you in Morse Code?

#4.  Your hearing aids are not working properly

Part of hearing aid maintenance is having diagnostic checks done on your devices.  If they do not meet specifications, they should be repaired.  Your professional should give you a copy of your diagnostic reports to prove that they are working properly. 

#3.  You have never gone back to your provider for cleanings or adjustments

You can't expect to have success with hearing aids if you don't maintain them and get adjustments.  Even small changes over time can have a huge impact on your success with hearing aids.

#2. You never had Real Ear Measures done on your hearing aids

It is impossible to know if a hearing aid was programmed to your prescription unless you have Real Ear Measures completed.  Unfortunately, under 40% of hearing care professionals actually use these measures.  Bottom line, if your professional doesn't do Real Ear Measures, find a new professional.

#1. You still think it is all about the hearing aids

There have been studies that have showed that a 10-year-old analog hearing aid can outperform a brand new digital hearing aid if it has been programmed properly.  If you think the newest, latest, and greatest hearing aid will solve your hearing problem, think again.  Success is much more likely if you find a great Board-Certified Doctor of Audiology.


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Clifford R. Olson, AuD.

Cliff Olson is passionate about hearing healthcare. He believes that the #1 reason people do not have success with hearing treatment is that they are uninformed. As the owner of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, he is able to educate and treat patients in a way that maximizes their success with hearing treatment.