It’s difficult to accept, for many, dealing with and admitting the truth of hearing loss. Nevertheless, you soldiered through and visited a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting session, because you knew that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one gets by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), the potential to recover from cognitive decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.
But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering advantages. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. The squealing you’re hearing is more generally 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 for you, this is a problem you can fix relatively easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following guidelines:
1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted
Perhaps the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the positioning of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. If the hearing aid does not fit securely inside of your ear, sound can escape 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 continuous or a sporadic squealing. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. As time passes, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its best position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the issue by replacing the plastic piece.
2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax
It’s ironic 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 really is. This gooey compound acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from entering our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to control the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax builds up. When you place a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. Due to 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 clear exit. There are a few ways to eliminate an overabundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea may be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent undue buildup and subsequent whistling.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Often times the most apparent solution is the most practical. How many times have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You might 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. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the issue.
Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best solution. Some causes for worry are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology regularly. Give us a call if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.