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 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. More than likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), the potential to recover from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing advantages. You get a loud whistling sound from your hearing aids. The squealing you’re hearing is more typically 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. This, fortunately for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

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 doesn’t fit correctly inside of your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The outcome of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic 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. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. This movement can cause squealing, but you can improve the problem by switching the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

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 actually is. This gooey compound acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and prevents them from entering our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions like Talking and chewing, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. Feedback will unavoidably occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. In order to eliminate undue buildup, however, the best strategy is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most successful solution is the most obvious. Have you ever noticed someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You may 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 be enough to fix the issue.

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

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