It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and acknowledging the truth of hearing loss. Because you recognized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you immediately recognized the advantages one receives by using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from cognitive decline.
But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering advantages. Your hearing aids squeal. 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, luckily for you, is an issue that can be corrected fairly easily. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.
1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid
Perhaps the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the positioning of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. The outcome 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 actually is. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. This movement can cause squealing, but you can correct the problem by replacing the plastic piece.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
It’s ironic 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 prevented from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like talking or chewing assist your ears to limit the amount of earwax they produce but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax builds up. Feedback will inevitably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of 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 eliminate an abundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to avoid undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care expert.
3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered
Sometimes the most obvious answer is the most effective. How often have you seen someone attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same outcome, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. This issue should be easy to correct just by uncovering the hearing aid.
Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are routinely developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models relieve some of these causes for worry. Give us a call if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.