Do digitial hearing aids cause inner ear imbalance?

In 2011 I bought 2 Reveal K-9 Mini Rite digital hearing aids. In the previous 40 years I’ve always worn 1 analog aid since I couldn’t afford 2. I am also legally blind. My experience with this brand is listed below:

  1. The aids are small using small batteries size 312. They only last 7 days compared to my old analogs using size 13 that lasted 14 days. If i drop these small batteries i’m in troulbe trying to find them on the floor.

  2. There is a microphone that goes inside your ears. Since my hearing is so mild I have to have molds so the microphones have to have ring plugs to protect them from wax. They need to be changed on a monthly basis which I find annoying.

  3. Noises that are high pitched from your microwave, washer/dryer buzzer, bird clock… will trigger these aids and give a loud whining noise that will drive me nuts.

My question is: do digital hearing aids make you get inner ear infection or imbalance? After I wore these aids for 4 months I was standing and spun around and fell to the floor & ended up in the hospital. After so many tests the specialist claims i had an inner ear infection not vertigo. When i don’t wear these aids i’m fine. When i wear them I notice I get dizzy on/off from time to time. Is there a study on this?

You really should see an ear, nose, & throat specialist to rule out any medical issues.

You do not mention any hearing professional. Most people need their digital aids programmed by a professional to get goos=d results. In fact, many of us believe that the choice of a good hearing professional is more important than the choice of hearing aid brand.

I cannot find anything online about the aids you mentioned. you generally need aids from the larger manufacturers to get the latest technological advances.

You can get hearing aids that use larger batteries but the hearing aids will also be larger. If size isn’t an issue, you might want to look into that. Also, with digital aids the battery life went down compared to analog since there are just more things that the hearing aid is constantly doing. That runs the battery down faster.

The rings protecting them from wax prevent the devices from breaking down frequently. As annoying as it is to change every month, I think you’d rather do that then require a repair monthly or send them in for repair to the company every few months.

The noise is entrainment. The hearing aid thinks it’s hearing feedback and uses a signal to cancel the noise out. Thing is, there’s isn’t a noise so then the hearing aid will behave in a very strange way.

As far as the dizziness.I’ve never heard of a hearing aid causing an inner ear infection or imbalance (except when I have patients who only wear one when they are used to two and say they feel like they are walking in circles…lol). You mention a “specialist” but nothing about who that is. Is it an ENT or audiologist? If it is your hearing aid specialist, they have no place telling you what is causing the dizziness or that you shouldn’t worry about it. It needs to be evaluated by a physician to make sure nothing else is going on there. It is most likely completely coincidental that the dizziness happens with hearing aid use.

Are you working and in the US? If so, you might want to look at voc rehab as a possible source for funding for a better pair of hearing aids.

As far as the dizziness.I’ve never heard of a hearing aid causing an inner ear infection or imbalance (except when I have patients who only wear one when they are used to two and say they feel like they are walking in circles…lol). You mention a “specialist” but nothing about who that is. Is it an ENT or audiologist? If it is your hearing aid specialist, they have no place telling you what is causing the dizziness or that you shouldn’t worry about it. It needs to be evaluated by a physician to make sure nothing else is going on there. It is most likely completely coincidental that the dizziness happens with hearing aid use.

Are you working and in the US? If so, you might want to look at voc rehab as a possible source for funding for a better pair of hearing aids.

In reply to the above:
thank you for responding to all of the experiences above.
yes i have seen a neurologist regarding the dizziness.

there is a link to the audiologist i bought the hearing aids from that you can do a google search for Mass Audiology in MA in USA where I live since I am not allowed to post any website links until i post more than 15 posts I can not post the link here.

I have dealt with Mass Rehab Vocational in the past and they did help me with buying hearing aids BUT when I became legally blind and became registered with Mass Commission for the Blind paid for a set BUT when the state had budget cuts MCB refuses to help me and tosses me back to MRV… i gave up with the state help. I checked with the Lions Club where I donate my old hearing aids and was NOT qualified because of my husband income & my disability income combined. I had to take out a loan to pay for the digital hearing aids of $4,200. I do hope they last longer than 5 years expectancy of my old analogs. Too bad hearing aids are not covered under health insurance. I’m very angry with that. My Reveal K9 aids are hooked up to a computer and have been adjusted so many times.

Thanks again for listening to my tale of woes I just wanted to find out if hearing aids affected people with dizziness part.

How long have you been blind? The balance system uses input from various sources (eyes, ears, body) to determine your position in space and keep you upright. Let’s say your vestibular system (ears) wasn’t functioning correctly and your eyes were compensating by fixating and keeping you balanced. Take away the visual input and you now have difficulties with balance/dizziness…this is a possibility as a cause of the dizziness.

Have you had any balance tests performed?

How long have you been blind? The balance system uses input from various sources (eyes, ears, body) to determine your position in space and keep you upright. Let’s say your vestibular system (ears) wasn’t functioning correctly and your eyes were compensating by fixating and keeping you balanced. Take away the visual input and you now have difficulties with balance/dizziness…this is a possibility as a cause of the dizziness.

Have you had any balance tests performed?


i’ve became legally blind since 1998 at age 38. i’ve seen a neurologist who didn’t persue it any further just saying i have inner ear infection… i’ll relay this mssg to my primary doctor & hearing audiologist. thx
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That’s good. Any time you have dizziness you really need to rule out other causes. To me, it seems like your neurologist to dismiss it as an inner ear infection without any kind of follow-up or evaluation by an ENT was bad form.