Hearing Assessment Center, LLC - Lutherville, Bel Air, and  Nottingham, MD

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and accepting the reality 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 quickly realized the benefits one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids whistle. 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, luckily for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is probably the most common reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit securely within your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the consequences of the leakage can be either a continuous or an intermittent squealing. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you replace the plastic piece, you can correct the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is perceived by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and stops them from entering our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions such as chewing or talking, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. Feedback will unavoidably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and passes through the microphone again. Doing things including letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea could be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to avoid excessive buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often the most apparent solution is the most practical. 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 device can cause it to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same result, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. This problem should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best solution. Some causes for concern are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology regularly. Give us a call if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today