It’s difficult to accept, for many, dealing with and accepting the reality of hearing loss. Nevertheless, you pushed on and visited a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you realized that’s what was best for your health. Most likely, you quickly realized the advantages one receives from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the potential to recover from mental decline.
But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud squealing sound from your hearing aids. 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. This, fortunately for you, is a problem that can be fixed fairly easily. We’ve put together 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
Perhaps the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit correctly inside of 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 continuous or an intermittent 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 proper position. This movement can cause squealing, but you can fix the issue by switching the plastic piece.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
Earwax is actually beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even foul. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions like Talking and chewing, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you place a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to remove an abundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to avoid undue buildup, however, the best idea is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care expert.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Sometimes the most reliable solution is the most obvious. How often have you seen someone attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily puzzled about why the picture didn’t develop? The same principle applies here. 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 result, like if you give someone a hug and bury your ear into their shoulder. 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 routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models decrease some of these causes for concern. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, call us.