Edison Stanford Intelligent Hearing - Salt Lake City, Draper, and Provo, UT

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many people, accepting and dealing with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Because you realized 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 recognized the benefits one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), the potential to recover from cognitive decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But sometimes, among all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud squealing sound from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more familiar term for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, fortunately for you, is a problem that can be corrected fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

1. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Perhaps the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the positioning of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. The consequences of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or constant, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really is. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models with an earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you replace the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

It’s ironic to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other substances are stopped from getting into the ears by this gooey 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 an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to get 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. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. However, the best idea may be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most obvious answer is the most effective. Have you ever seen someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same result, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best solution. Manufacturers are regularly developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models decrease some of these causes for worry. If you’re having problems 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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