For many of you, accepting and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Nonetheless, you soldiered on and went to a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one gets by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.
But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud squealing noise from your hearing aids. The whistling 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. Fortunately for you, this is a problem you can fix relatively easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following suggestions:
1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted
Perhaps the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the positioning of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. If the hearing aid does not fit correctly within your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The consequences of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really 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 best position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the problem 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 unwelcome or even nasty. Dirt and other substances are prevented from getting into the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like talking or chewing assist your ears to regulate the amount of earwax they generate 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. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear exit, the sound circles and goes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to remove 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 expert.
3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered
Sometimes the most obvious answer is the most effective. Have you ever noticed someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? The same concept is applicable here. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You could 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 giving them a hug. This problem should be easy to correct 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 integrating new technology regularly. If you’re having issues with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, give us a call.