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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many individuals, accepting and coming to grips with the reality of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you soldiered on and went to a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting session, because you realized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you quickly recognized the advantages one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from cognitive decline.

But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering benefits. You get a loud squealing noise from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more familiar word for this whistling. 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 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 squealing.

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most prevalent reason for feedback. The sound can get out 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 consequences of the leakage can be either a constant or a sporadic whistling. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. This movement can cause squealing, but you can improve the problem by switching the plastic piece.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is perceived by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. This icky substance 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 Talking and chewing, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. Feedback will unavoidably occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone again. Doing things including letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. However, the best idea could be to speak to a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to prevent excessive buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often the most obvious answer is the most effective. How often have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily puzzled about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. You might 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. This issue should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are regularly integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for worry. If you’re having issues with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, give us a call.

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