For many individuals, acknowledging and coming to grips with the reality of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you soldiered through and visited a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you quickly realized the benefits one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), the potential to recover from cognitive decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.
But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life changing benefits. You get a loud squealing noise from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more familiar term for this whistling. 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 an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. 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
Probably the most prevalent 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 get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit right. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the outcome of the leakage can be either a constant or an intermittent squealing. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models with an earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. If you replace the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
Earwax is really beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwelcome or even foul. Dirt and other things are prevented from getting into the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing help your ears control the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. When you put a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone once more. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea might be to speak to a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to avoid undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.
3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered
Often times the most reliable solution is the most obvious. How many times have you seen someone attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily 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. 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. This problem should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.
Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best solution. Some causes for worry are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing 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.