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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, coming to grips with and acknowledging the truth of hearing loss. Nevertheless, you soldiered through and went to a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting session, because you realized that’s what was best for your health. Most likely, you immediately recognized the advantages one gets by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering positives. Your hearing aids squeal. The squealing you’re hearing is more generally known as feedback. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. Fortunately, this is a problem you can correct relatively easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Perhaps 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. If the hearing aid does not fit properly inside of your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the outcome of the leakage can be either a constant or an intermittent whistling. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its best position. If you replace the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is thought of 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 icky substance which acts as a defense. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions such as chewing or talking, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. Feedback will inevitably happen if you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and passes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to remove an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to avoid undue accumulation, however, the best strategy is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most apparent answer is the most practical. Have you ever seen someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? The same idea applies here. Whistling can occur 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 give someone a hug and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best solution. Manufacturers are routinely developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models relieve 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.

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.