Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, dealing with and admitting the reality of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you soldiered on and went to a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you realized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you quickly realized the benefits one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the din of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from cognitive decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing benefits. Your hearing aids squeal. Feedback is the more familiar word for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, fortunately for you, is a problem that can be corrected fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Probably 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. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit correctly. The outcome of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or constant, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really is. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid models with an earmold. Over time, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its best position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can correct the issue by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

Earwax is really beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even foul. This icky substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and stops them from entering our ears. Actions, like talking or chewing assist your ears to limit the amount of earwax they generate but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax builds up. When you put 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. With no clear exit, the sound comes around and passes through the microphone again. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. In order to avoid undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often the most successful solution is the most obvious. Have you ever noticed someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? The same principle is applicable here. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same outcome, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about purchasing a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology regularly. If you’re having problems with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, give us a call.