6 Ways To Easily Tell If Your Hearing Aid Is On

When wearing hearing aids for the first time, there is a lot of uncertainty that goes along with it.  After all, it's a change in your life.

I recently got a new cell phone and it took me some time to learn how to use it. There were some frustrations that went along with it, but also some excitement. Once I learned how to use the features, the cell phone was going to make my life easier! It will be the same for you with your hearing aids.

Some people worry a lot about their hearing aids and want to be sure they are doing everything right. Especially with older adults, handling an electronic device so small can cause some anxiety.

One question that might arise is whether your hearing aid is actually working.

1.  Make sure the battery door is completely closed.

Hearing Aid Battery Door

2.  Take the hearing aid off and cup it in your hand.

You (or a friend) should hear a high-pitched squeal coming from the hearing aid.

Hearing Aid Turned On Test

3.  With the hearing aid in your ear, rub your finger over the microphone.

It is important to remember that when wearing a behind-the-ear hearing aid, the microphone is located at the top of your ear, not in the ear. When rubbing the microphone, you should hear a “scratching” or “static” noise in that ear.

BTE Hearing Aid Mic

4.  If you have multiple programs set in your hearing aid, press the program button or use your remote to change the programs while your hearing aids are in.

Your hearing aid should make a sound to indicate the program change.

5.  With your hearing aids out, turn the volume of your television or radio to a comfortable level for you.

Leave the volume where it is and put your hearing aids in. You should notice a change in volume or “clearness” with your hearing aids in, and you may find yourself wanting to turn the volume down.

6.  Turn the hearing aid off and back on while leaving it in your ear.

You should hear a start-up sound when it comes on (either a musical tune or spoken words).  You can also try leaving the battery door open until the hearing aid is installed and then shutting it.

Check Hearing Aid Battery While in Ear

If you have checked all these items and you are still unsure, or don't think your hearing aid is working, take it to your Audiologist. Don't be discouraged.

As you continue using your hearing aid, you will become more comfortable with handling it and understanding how it works.

*You may notice the above hearing aids are do not have hearing aid batteries installed.  Last, but not least always make sure yours does!

Lindsey Banks

Lindsey Banks


Lindsey Banks is a graduate of the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) program at the University of Florida. She uses her diverse experience in hearing healthcare and her passion for helping people to provide credible information to those with hearing loss who visit Clear Living.


  1. Becca Casey says:

    I just got new oticon hearing aid a 3 days ago.i dont notice much of a difference when I wearing them and talking to people.why is this?

    1. Lindsey Banks says:

      That is not necessarily a bad thing, perhaps the hearing aids have great sound quality and sound natural to you. Take notice of whether they are solving your hearing difficulties…are you having to ask people to repeat less, is the TV easier to understand? Those are better indicators of whether the hearing aids are making a difference for you. Your follow-ups with your provider will also be an important time to mention your concerns.

  2. Dev Nair says:

    Well explained about ways to easily tell if the hearing aid is on! Very Informative! Thank you! Keep posting!

  3. James Borst says:

    It is interesting that you should be able to hear a high-pitched squeal from the hearing aid when cupping it in your hand. My dad has been loosing his hearing for the past few years and I’ve considered getting him hearing aids. I may take him to a hearing aid specialist or someone like that to see what they recommend for him.

  4. Callum Palmer says:

    My grandpa is getting to the age where his hearing is degraded a lot. He is looking to get hearing aids and once he does, I think it would be a good idea for him to check it to make sure it is on. I’d assume that people would forget to do this often enough.

  5. James M Hancock says:

    How do I know that he hearing aid is appropriate for me. Seems like that are so many competing brands saying our produce is better. And, does cost play an important part. In other words, only the best hearing aids have the highest cost. I will be seeing an audiologist for the first time in about three weeks. I do know that the cost of hearing aids are in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. I received information from my insurance company telling me that their recommended hearing aids are discounted and are a good brand. Is that true? Not sure what to believe about the “business” of hearing aids and who has my interest at heart.

  6. Chris Hoffmann says:

    I appreciate How you have managed to list all possible factors and at same time, advised your readers to consult a professional audiologist. Hearing aids can be a tricky piece of technology when it comes to handling and I think it is best for every hearing aid user to visit their audiologist first, if they have any query.

  7. PDownes(mr) says:

    Why does my hearing aid come off my ear

    1. Clear Living says:

      Hi Peter,

      We recommend that you visit your nearest hearing specialist to get your hearing aid refitted.

      Thank you for your comment!

  8. Mike hadley says:

    Trying to locate battery doors seimens number 02w026889l and 02w026889r they are an older model

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