Hear in Edmonton - Edmonton, Alberta

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and acknowledging the reality of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you soldiered on and went to a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you immediately realized the benefits one gets from using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids squeal. 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, luckily for you, is an issue that can be corrected fairly easily. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.

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 predominant reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit correctly 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 consequences of the leakage can be either a continuous or a sporadic squealing. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. Over time, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its correct position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the problem by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is actually beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwanted or even nasty. 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 Talking and chewing, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative consequences. Feedback will inevitably occur if you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound circles and passes through the microphone once more. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea could be to speak to a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to prevent undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered

Often the most reliable 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 baffled about why the picture didn’t develop? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the device can cause it to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same result, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Some causes for worry are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology all of the time. If you’re having problems 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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