Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many individuals, acknowledging and dealing with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Because you recognized that it was best for your health, you made the decision to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you quickly realized the benefits one receives 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 cognitive decline.

But sometimes, among all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids squeal. The squealing you’re hearing is more commonly known as feedback. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. Fortunately for you, this is a problem you can correct relatively simply. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from squealing.

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. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit correctly. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the outcome of the leakage can be either a continuous or an intermittent squealing. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you replace the plastic piece, you can fix the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

It’s ironic to think of something such as earwax, which is thought of by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. Dirt and other substances are prevented from entering the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to regulate the amount of earwax they produce but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax builds up. When you place a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. Due to 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 goes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to get rid of an abundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to eliminate undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most effective solution is the most obvious. Have you ever seen someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You might even get the same outcome by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best choice. Manufacturers are regularly developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models decrease some of these causes for worry. If you’re having problems with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, call us.

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