Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many of you, admitting and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. 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. Most likely, you quickly realized the benefits one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from mental decline.

But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life changing benefits. Your hearing aids whistle. The squealing you’re hearing is more typically known as feedback. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, luckily for you, is a problem that can be fixed fairly easily. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most predominant reason for feedback. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the outcome of the leakage can be either a continuous or an intermittent squealing. With some hearing aid designs, 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 best position. If you replace the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

It’s ironic to think of something like earwax, which is perceived by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other substances are prevented from entering the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to control the amount of earwax they generate but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax builds up. Feedback will unavoidably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear exit, the sound comes around and passes through the microphone again. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. However, the best idea may be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent excessive accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times 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 temporarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t come out? The same concept is applicable here. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same outcome, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

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 definitely seen modern models decrease some of these causes for worry. Call us 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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