Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and accepting 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 is best for your health. Most likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one receives by using 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 deal with tinnitus.

But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering benefits. You get a loud squealing sound from your hearing aids. The whistling you’re hearing is more typically 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. This, luckily for you, is an issue that can be corrected fairly 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

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is probably the most predominant reason for feedback. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. 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. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. This movement can cause squealing, but you can improve the problem by switching the plastic piece.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

Earwax is actually good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even foul. Dirt and other things are stopped from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions like chewing or talking, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative consequences. 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. 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 such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to prevent undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most apparent 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? 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 result, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best choice. Manufacturers are regularly integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models decrease some of these causes for worry. If you’re having issues with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, call us.

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