Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, dealing with and admitting the truth of hearing loss. Because you recognized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. More than likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one receives by using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from cognitive decline.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. You get a loud squealing noise from your hearing aids. The whistling you’re hearing is more generally 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. Fortunately for you, this is a problem you can correct relatively simply. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Probably the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. The result 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 really is. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. 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 usually think of it as unwelcome or even foul. Dirt and other things are prevented from entering the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing help your ears control the amount of earwax they generate but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will unavoidably occur if you put a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. The reason for this is that 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 definite exit. Doing things including letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea could be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent undue buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Sometimes the most successful solution is the most obvious. How often have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily perplexed 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. You might even get the same outcome by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. This issue should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best solution. Manufacturers are regularly integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models relieve some of these causes for concern. Call us if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble 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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