Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and admitting the truth of hearing loss. Because you realized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. More than likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one receives from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the din of background noise), the potential to recover from mental decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.

But sometimes, among all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids whistle. The squealing you’re hearing is more typically known as feedback. 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, fortunately for you, is a problem that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is probably the most predominant reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit correctly inside of your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the consequences of the leakage can be either a continuous or an intermittent squealing. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. Over time, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. If you replace the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

It’s ironic to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. This icky substance acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from entering our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions such as Talking and chewing, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you put a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound circles and goes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to remove an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea may be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to prevent undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most obvious solution is the most effective. How often have you seen somebody attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the device can cause it to whistle. You might even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to correct simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models decrease some of these causes for worry. 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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