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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many individuals, accepting and coming to grips with the reality of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Nonetheless, you pushed through and went to a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you immediately realized the benefits one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from cognitive decline.

But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud squealing noise from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more familiar term 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, luckily for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. Modify 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. If the hearing aid does not fit correctly inside of your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. 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 actually is. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid models with an earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. This movement can cause whistling, but you can correct the problem by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

It’s strange to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. Dirt and other substances are stopped from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to control the amount of earwax they produce but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will unavoidably occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. There are a few ways to eliminate an overabundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea may be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to avoid excessive accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most apparent answer is the most practical. How many times have you seen someone 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? The same principle applies here. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same outcome, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about purchasing a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are routinely developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for worry. If you’re having trouble 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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