Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and admitting the reality 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. More than likely, you immediately realized the benefits one gets by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.

But occasionally, among all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. The whistling 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. This, fortunately for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Possibly the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the positioning of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit correctly. The outcome 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. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid designs with an earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. This movement can cause whistling, but you can correct the issue by switching the plastic piece.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

Earwax is really beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even nasty. This icky compound acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and stops them from entering our ears. 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 consequences. When you place a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear exit, the sound circles and passes through the microphone once more. Doing things including letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. In order to eliminate undue accumulation, however, the best strategy is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most obvious answer is the most practical. How many times have you seen somebody 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 develop? The same idea is applicable here. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same result, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Some causes for worry are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology all of the time. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out 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.

Main Line Audiology Consultants, PC