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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many people, acknowledging and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Because you realized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you immediately realized the advantages one gets by using 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 once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life changing advantages. You get a loud squealing noise from your hearing aids. 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. Fortunately, this is a problem you can fix relatively simply. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Perhaps 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. If the hearing aid does not fit securely inside of your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The consequences of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really is. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models with an earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. This movement can cause squealing, but you can correct the problem by switching the plastic piece.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

Earwax is really beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even foul. This gooey compound acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and stops them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions like chewing or talking, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. Feedback will unavoidably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. 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 comes around and goes through the microphone again. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. In order to eliminate undue buildup, however, the best strategy is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most obvious solution is the most practical. Have you ever noticed someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? The same concept is applicable here. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You might even get the same outcome by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. This issue should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are routinely developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models relieve some of these causes for worry. Give us a call if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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