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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and acknowledging the truth of hearing loss. Because you recognized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you quickly realized the benefits one receives from using 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 mental decline.

But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. You get a loud squealing sound from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more common 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. This, fortunately for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most prevalent reason for feedback. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit correctly. The result of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or continuous, 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. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is actually beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even nasty. This icky compound acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. Actions, like talking or chewing help your ears control the amount of earwax they make but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax builds up. When you place a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. Doing things including letting warm shower water run into your ears can help eliminate excessive earwax. In order to avoid undue buildup, however, the best idea is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most apparent solution is the most effective. Have you ever seen someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? The same concept applies here. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same outcome, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about purchasing a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology all of the time. Call us if you are interested in checking out 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.
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