HEARING TIPS

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, coming to grips with and accepting 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. More than likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the din of background noise), the potential to recover from cognitive decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids whistle. Feedback is the more familiar term for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. Fortunately, this is a problem you can fix relatively simply. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from squealing.

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

Probably the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the positioning of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. 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 consequences of the leakage can be either a continuous or a sporadic squealing. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. As time passes, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its best position. This movement can cause squealing, but you can correct the issue by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

Earwax is really good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even nasty. Dirt and other substances are stopped from getting into the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to limit 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. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no clear exit. There are a few ways to eliminate an abundance of wax from your ears such as 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 specialist.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most apparent solution is the most effective. Have you ever noticed someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? The same concept is applicable here. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You could even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you give someone a hug and put your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider getting a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models decrease some of these causes for worry. Give us a call if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.

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