Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many individuals, acknowledging and coming to grips with the reality of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Nonetheless, you soldiered through and went to a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you knew that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you immediately realized the benefits one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.

But occasionally, among all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud squealing sound from your hearing aids. The whistling 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. Fortunately for you, this is a problem you can fix relatively simply. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

Probably the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. If the hearing aid does not fit securely inside of your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the consequences of the leakage can be either a continuous or a sporadic squealing. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is thought of by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other substances are stopped from entering the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like talking or chewing help your ears control the amount of earwax they generate but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will inevitably occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to get rid of an overabundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea could be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to prevent excessive buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often the most apparent answer is the most practical. Have you ever seen someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same result, like if you give someone a hug and put your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are regularly integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models relieve some of these causes for concern. Give us a call if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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