Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and acknowledging the reality of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you soldiered on and went to a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you realized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you quickly realized the benefits one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from cognitive decline.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing positives. You get a loud squealing noise from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more common term for this whistling. 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. This, fortunately for you, is a problem that can be fixed fairly easily. We’ve organized 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

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most prevalent reason for feedback. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit properly inside of your ear, sound can get out 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. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. This movement can cause whistling, but you can improve the issue by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

It’s strange to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. Dirt and other substances 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 limit the amount of earwax they make but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. When you put a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. Because of 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 comes around and goes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to get rid of an overabundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea might be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent excessive buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often the most effective 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 baffled about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You could even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.

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

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