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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and admitting the reality of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you pushed through and visited a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting session, because you knew that’s what is best for your health. Most likely, you immediately realized the benefits one gets from using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing positives. Your hearing aids squeal. Feedback is the more common term for this whistling. 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, luckily for you, is an issue that can be corrected fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Perhaps the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit right. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the result of the leakage can be either a constant or an intermittent squealing. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its best position. If you replace the plastic piece, you can fix the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Get Rid of 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 stopped from entering 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 produce but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax builds up. Feedback will inevitably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. Due to 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 again. There are a few ways to eliminate an overabundance of wax from your ears such as 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 undue buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often the most obvious solution is the most effective. How often have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily baffled about why the picture didn’t develop? The same concept is applicable here. 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 bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology regularly. Give us a call if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.