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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many individuals, acknowledging and dealing with the truth of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you pushed through and visited a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. Most likely, you quickly recognized the advantages one gets by 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 occasionally, among all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids whistle. Feedback is the more familiar word for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, fortunately 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. Adjust 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 correctly. The result of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its best position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can correct the issue by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is really beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even foul. Dirt and other things are stopped from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions like chewing or talking, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative consequences. When you put 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 can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to get rid of an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to avoid undue buildup, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most reliable solution is the most evident. How often 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 happen. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same result, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. This problem should be easy to correct simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider getting a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are regularly developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models decrease some of these causes for concern. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, call us.

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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