For many individuals, admitting and dealing with the reality of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Because you recognized that it was best for your health, you made the decision to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you immediately realized the advantages one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), the potential to recover from mental decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.
But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing benefits. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. The squealing you’re hearing is more commonly 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. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.
1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid
Probably the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. If the hearing aid does not fit correctly 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 result of the leakage can be either a continuous or a sporadic squealing. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid models with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its best position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can improve 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 many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. This icky compound acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and prevents them from entering our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions such as chewing or talking, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. Feedback will inevitably occur if you put 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. With no clear exit, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone once more. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea may be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid undue buildup and subsequent whistling.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Often times the most obvious solution is the most effective. How many times have you seen someone attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily baffled about why the picture didn’t come out? The same idea applies here. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same result, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.
Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best choice. Some causes for worry are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology all of the time. Call us if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.