For many of you, accepting 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 quickly realized the benefits one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the din of background noise), the potential to recover from mental decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.
But sometimes you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering benefits. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. 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, 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. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted
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 escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit correctly. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the consequences of the leakage can be either a continuous or a sporadic whistling. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. This movement can cause squealing, but you can fix the issue by replacing the plastic piece.
2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax
Earwax is really good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even nasty. Dirt and other substances are prevented 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 like Talking and chewing, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. However, the best idea might be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.
3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered
Often times the most reliable solution is the most evident. Have you ever seen someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You may even get the same outcome by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. This problem 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. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models decrease some of these causes for worry. Give us a call if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.