HEARING TIPS

How to Stop The Whistling in Your Ears

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and admitting the truth 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 immediately recognized the benefits one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids squeal. The whistling you’re hearing is more commonly 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, luckily for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly 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

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 inside of your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. 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 actually is. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. If you replace the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

Earwax is really good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwelcome or even foul. Dirt and other substances are stopped from getting into the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like talking or chewing help your ears regulate the amount of earwax they produce but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will inevitably happen if you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound circles and goes 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 accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most obvious solution is the most effective. Have you ever noticed someone trying 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 happen. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. You might even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. This issue should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best solution. Some causes for concern are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology all of the time. Call us if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

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