It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and admitting the truth of hearing loss. Because you realized that it was best for your health, you made the decision to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you immediately recognized the advantages one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.
But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life changing advantages. You get a loud whistling sound from your hearing aids. The squealing you’re hearing is more generally 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 fixed fairly easily. We’ve organized a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.
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. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit properly inside of your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The result 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 designs with an earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you replace the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
It’s ironic to think of something such as earwax, which is thought of by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. This gooey compound acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions like Talking and chewing, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative consequences. When you put a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound circles and passes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to remove an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to avoid undue accumulation, however, the best strategy is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care expert.
3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered
Often times the most effective 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 momentarily puzzled about why the picture didn’t develop? The same idea is applicable here. 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 be enough to fix the problem.
Here’s a bonus tip: Consider getting a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models relieve some of these causes for concern. 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.