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Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and admitting the truth of hearing loss. Nevertheless, you soldiered on and went to a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you quickly recognized the advantages one receives by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the potential to recover from mental decline.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids whistle. The whistling you’re hearing is more generally known as feedback. 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. Fortunately, this is a problem you can correct relatively easily. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

Perhaps the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the placement 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 right. The consequences of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. This movement can cause whistling, but you can improve the issue by switching the plastic piece.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

Earwax is actually beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even nasty. Dirt and other substances 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 such as 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 extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help remove excessive earwax. However, the best idea might be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid undue buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most apparent solution is the most effective. How many times have you seen somebody try 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 happen. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same outcome, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. This problem should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best choice. Some causes for concern are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology all of the time. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, give us a call.

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