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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and admitting 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 realized the advantages one gets by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), and the potential to recover from mental decline.

But sometimes you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life changing benefits. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. The squealing you’re hearing is more typically known as feedback. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. Fortunately, this is a problem you can fix relatively simply. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Possibly the most prevalent 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. If the hearing aid does not fit properly within your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the outcome of the leakage can be either a constant or an intermittent squealing. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid designs with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its best position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can improve the problem by switching the plastic piece.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is thought of by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other things are stopped from getting into the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions such as Talking and chewing, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. Feedback will inevitably happen if you put a hearing aid on top of too much 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 get rid of an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea might be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most obvious answer is the most practical. How many times have you seen someone try 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? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same outcome, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best choice. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for concern. If you’re having issues with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, call us.

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