Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many people, acknowledging and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Nevertheless, you soldiered through and visited a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting session, because you realized that’s what was best for your health. Most likely, you immediately realized the benefits one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from mental decline.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing benefits. You get a loud squealing sound from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more common 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. Fortunately, this is a problem you can correct relatively simply. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from squealing.

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 prevalent reason for feedback. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit correctly within your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The result 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 really is. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can fix the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

Earwax is really beneficial 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 icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like talking or chewing assist your ears to regulate the amount of earwax they produce but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax builds up. Feedback will unavoidably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to remove an abundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea might be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times 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 discover 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 could even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. This issue should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider getting a new hearing aid. Some causes for worry are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology all of the time. If you’re having issues with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, give us a call.

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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