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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many of you, accepting and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Nonetheless, you soldiered through and went to a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting session, because you realized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one receives from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing positives. Your hearing aids squeal. The whistling you’re hearing is more typically known as feedback. 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, luckily 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 whistling.

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Possibly the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit correctly within 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 continuous or an intermittent squealing. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its best position. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

It’s ironic to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and stops them from getting into our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to limit the amount of earwax they produce but there can be an adverse 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. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to eliminate an abundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to eliminate undue buildup, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most effective solution is the most obvious. How many times have you seen somebody attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the device can cause it to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same outcome, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to correct simply 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 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.