Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and accepting the truth of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you soldiered through and visited a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you realized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you immediately realized the advantages one receives from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering benefits. Your hearing aids whistle. Feedback is the more common term for this whistling. It’s just like what happens to a sound system when you bring a microphone too close, but it’s directly in your ears. Fortunately for you, this is a problem you can fix relatively simply. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

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 probably the most prevalent reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit properly inside of your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The outcome of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or constant, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models with an earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. If you replace the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is actually beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even nasty. This icky substance acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and stops them from entering our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing help your ears regulate the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will unavoidably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. With no clear exit, the sound circles and passes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to eliminate an abundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea might be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent excessive accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often the most successful solution is the most obvious. Have you ever noticed someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the device can cause it to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same result, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best option. Manufacturers are routinely developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for concern. Give us a call if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

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