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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many people, accepting and dealing with the truth 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. Most likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from cognitive decline.

But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering positives. Your hearing aids squeal. Feedback is the more familiar term for this whistling. 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. Fortunately for you, this is a problem you can correct relatively easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is probably the most prevalent reason for feedback. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. The consequences of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. If you replace the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is thought of by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. Dirt and other things are stopped from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to regulate the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will inevitably occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone again. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. However, the best idea could be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to avoid undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often the most obvious answer is the most effective. Have you ever noticed someone trying 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 occur. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You may even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you give someone a hug and put your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to correct simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about purchasing a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are routinely developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models relieve some of these causes for worry. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, give us a call.