Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many people, acknowledging and coming to grips with the reality of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Because you recognized that it was best for your health, you made the decision to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. More than likely, you immediately realized the advantages one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But sometimes, among all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more familiar term for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, luckily for you, is an issue that can be corrected fairly easily. We’ve organized a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from squealing.

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Possibly the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. The result of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or constant, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. As time passes, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its correct position. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can fix the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

It’s strange to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other substances are stopped from entering the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing help your ears limit the amount of earwax they make but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. When you put a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to remove an overabundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to prevent undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most obvious answer is the most practical. Have you ever seen someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same outcome, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best solution. Manufacturers are regularly developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for concern. If you’re having problems with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, give us a call.

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