Hearing Health Blog

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and acknowledging the truth of hearing loss. Nevertheless, you pushed on and visited a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting session, because you knew that’s what is best for your health. Most likely, you immediately realized the advantages one gets by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from cognitive decline.

But sometimes you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing benefits. You get a loud whistling sound from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more common word for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, luckily for you, is a problem that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most predominant reason for feedback. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit correctly. The outcome 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. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the problem by replacing the plastic piece.

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 things are stopped from getting into the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to control the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. When you place a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to get rid of an abundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea might be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to avoid undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered

Often the most successful solution is the most obvious. 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 occur. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. You may 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. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best solution. Some causes for worry are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology regularly. Give us a call if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.

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