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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many of you, accepting and dealing with the truth 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. More than likely, you quickly realized the advantages one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life altering advantages. Your hearing aids whistle. Feedback is the more common 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. Fortunately for you, this is a problem you can correct relatively 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 probably the most prevalent reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit securely within your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the result of the leakage can be either a constant or an intermittent squealing. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its correct position. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is really good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even nasty. Dirt and other things are prevented from entering the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. While your ears will self-regulate how much earwax you hold, through actions like chewing or talking, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative consequences. Feedback will inevitably happen if you put a hearing aid on top of too much 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 exit, the sound circles and passes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to remove an abundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea might be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to avoid undue buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most successful solution is the most evident. How many times have you seen somebody attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same outcome, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. This issue should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best choice. Some causes for worry are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology all of the time. 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.