Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, dealing with and accepting the truth of hearing loss. 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 quickly recognized the benefits one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.

But occasionally, among all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids squeal. The whistling 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 a problem that can be corrected fairly easily. We’ve organized a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

Probably the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the positioning of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit correctly inside of your ear, sound can escape 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 constant or a sporadic squealing. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. This movement can cause whistling, but you can improve the problem by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is thought of 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. While your ears will self-regulate how much earwax you hold, through actions such as chewing or talking, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative consequences. Feedback will inevitably occur if you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone again. Doing things including letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. In order to prevent undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most apparent solution is the most effective. 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? The same principle applies here. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You might even get the same outcome 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 problem.

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

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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