Coastal Hearing Aid Center - Encinitas, CA

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and admitting the reality of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you pushed through and visited a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you immediately recognized the advantages one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), the potential to recover from mental decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids whistle. Feedback is the more common 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. This, fortunately for you, is a problem that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

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 common reason for feedback. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit properly 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 result of the leakage can be either a constant or a sporadic whistling. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you replace the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

Earwax is actually good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even foul. Dirt and other things are prevented from getting into the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like talking or chewing assist your ears to limit the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax builds up. When you place a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear exit, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to remove an overabundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea could be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent undue buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Sometimes the most reliable 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 puzzled about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You could even get the same outcome by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you give someone a hug and put 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 might be the best choice. Manufacturers are regularly developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models relieve some of these causes for worry. If you’re having problems with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, give us a call.

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