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 soldiered on and visited a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting session, because you knew that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you immediately realized the advantages one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the din of background noise), the potential to recover from cognitive decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life changing positives. Your hearing aids whistle. The squealing you’re hearing is more typically known as feedback. It’s just like what happens to a sound system when you bring a microphone too close, but it’s directly in your ears. This, luckily for you, is an issue that can be corrected fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Probably the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit correctly. The consequences of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. With some hearing aid models, 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 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 unwanted or even foul. Dirt and other substances are stopped from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to regulate the amount of earwax they produce but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will inevitably happen if you put a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to eliminate 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 correctly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most reliable solution is the most evident. How many times have you seen somebody attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily puzzled about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. 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 give someone a hug and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are regularly integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models decrease 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 a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.

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