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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many people, admitting and dealing 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. More than likely, you immediately recognized the advantages one receives from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids whistle. Feedback is the more familiar word for this whistling. 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, this is a problem you can fix relatively easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most common reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit securely within 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 constant or a sporadic squealing. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the issue by switching the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is really good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even foul. Dirt and other substances 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 such as chewing or talking, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you insert a hearing aid on top of an extreme 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 circles and goes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to get rid of an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to eliminate undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often the most apparent answer is the most effective. Have you ever seen someone attempting 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. 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 giving them a hug. This problem should be easy to correct just by uncovering the hearing aid.

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