It’s difficult to accept, for many, dealing with and acknowledging the reality of hearing loss. Because you realized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you quickly realized the benefits one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.
But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids whistle. The squealing you’re hearing is more generally known as feedback. 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 fix relatively easily. We’ve organized a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.
1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid
Probably the most predominant 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 get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. 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 whistling. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can fix the whistling which is caused by this movement.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is perceived by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other things are stopped from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like talking or chewing assist your ears to control the amount of earwax they produce but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax builds up. Feedback will inevitably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of 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 place to go, the sound circles and passes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to eliminate an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to prevent undue buildup, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Sometimes the most obvious solution is the most effective. Have you ever seen someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You could even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.
Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology regularly. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, give us a call.