Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and admitting the truth of hearing loss. Because you realized 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 quickly realized the advantages one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But sometimes, among all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud whistling sound from your hearing aids. The whistling you’re hearing is more generally 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, luckily for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

Probably 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. 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. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the issue by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

It’s strange to think of something such as earwax, which is thought of by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. This gooey compound acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to control the amount of earwax they make but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. When you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea might be to speak to a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to avoid undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most apparent solution is the most practical. How many times have you seen somebody 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? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the device can cause it to whistle. You may even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best choice. Manufacturers are routinely developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models relieve some of these causes for worry. Call us if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

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.
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