For many of you, acknowledging and coming to grips with the reality of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you pushed through and went to a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what is best for your health. Most likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one receives from wearing 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 sometimes you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering advantages. You get a loud squealing sound from your hearing aids. The whistling you’re hearing is more generally 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. This, fortunately for you, is a problem that can be corrected fairly easily. We’ve organized 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
The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most predominant reason for feedback. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. 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 whistling. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid designs with an earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
It’s ironic to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived 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. While your ears will self-regulate how much earwax you hold, through actions such as Talking and chewing, there are times when an accumulation 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 get feedback. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. 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 remove excessive earwax. However, the best idea could be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Often the most successful solution is the most obvious. How often have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily baffled about why the picture didn’t develop? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You may even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. This issue should be easy to correct simply by uncovering the hearing aid.
Here’s a bonus tip: Consider getting a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology all of the time. Give us a call if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.