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. Nonetheless, you soldiered through and visited a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you quickly recognized the advantages one gets from using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.

But sometimes, among all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids squeal. The squealing you’re hearing is more commonly known as feedback. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, fortunately for you, is an issue that can be corrected fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Possibly 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. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit securely inside of your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The consequences of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. A plastic tube connects some 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 switch out the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is really good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwanted or even foul. Dirt and other substances are prevented from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like 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 occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear exit, the sound comes around and passes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to eliminate an abundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to eliminate undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often the most obvious solution is the most effective. Have you ever noticed someone trying 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 happen when something is covering the device. You could even get the same outcome by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. 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 checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

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