Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and admitting 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. Most likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one receives from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. You get a loud whistling sound from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more familiar word for this whistling. 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, fortunately 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 squealing.

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

Possibly the most prevalent 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. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the result of the leakage can be either a constant or an intermittent whistling. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid designs with an earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you replace the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

Earwax is really beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even nasty. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and prevents them from entering our ears. Actions, like talking or chewing help your ears limit the amount of earwax they make but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will inevitably occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear exit, the sound circles and goes through the microphone again. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help eliminate excessive earwax. However, the best idea may be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to prevent excessive buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Sometimes the most obvious solution is the most practical. 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 puzzled about why the picture didn’t develop? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Whistling can occur 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 issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology regularly. 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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