Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many people, accepting and coming to grips with the reality of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Nonetheless, you pushed on and visited a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. Most likely, you quickly realized the advantages one gets by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), the potential to recover from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids whistle. The whistling you’re hearing is more commonly 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. Fortunately, this is a problem you can correct relatively 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

Probably the most prevalent 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 get out 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 constant, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its correct position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the issue by switching the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is really beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwanted or even nasty. This icky substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and stops them from entering our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to limit the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. When you put a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear exit, the sound circles and goes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to eliminate an abundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea could 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

Sometimes the most apparent answer is the most practical. How often have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t develop? The same concept is applicable here. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same result, like if you give someone a hug and bury your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to correct just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best option. 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 learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

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