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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 a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you soldiered on and visited a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you quickly recognized the advantages one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids whistle. Feedback is the more common word for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, fortunately 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 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 likely the most predominant reason for feedback. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit right. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the result of the leakage can be either a constant or a sporadic squealing. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models 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 improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

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. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from entering our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to regulate the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will inevitably occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. With no clear exit, the sound comes around and passes through the microphone once more. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help eliminate excessive earwax. In order to avoid undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most obvious answer is the most practical. How often have you seen someone attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t come out? The same concept is applicable here. Whistling can occur 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 bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. This issue should be easy to correct simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best choice. Some causes for concern are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating 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, call us.