Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many individuals, accepting and dealing with the reality of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Because you realized 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 using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the din of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud whistling sound 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 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

Possibly the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit right. The result of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or constant, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really is. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid designs with an earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. If you replace the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

Earwax is actually good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even nasty. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions such as chewing or talking, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you insert a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. With no clear exit, the sound circles and passes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to remove an abundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to prevent undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most successful solution is the most evident. How many times 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 develop? The same concept applies here. Anything covering the device can cause it to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same result, like if you give someone a hug and put your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best option. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for concern. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, call us.

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