It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and admitting the reality of hearing loss. Nevertheless, you soldiered through and visited a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you immediately realized the advantages one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the potential to recover from mental decline.
But occasionally, among 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 like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. 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 whistling.
1. Adjust 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 prevalent reason for feedback. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit correctly. The result of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. With some hearing aid models, 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 correct position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the issue by switching the plastic piece.
2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax
It’s strange to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. This icky substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate how much earwax you hold, through actions such as Talking and chewing, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. 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 definite exit. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help eliminate excessive earwax. However, the best idea might be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid undue buildup and subsequent whistling.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Often times the most obvious answer is the most effective. Have you ever seen someone attempting 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 happen. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You could even get the same result 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. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.
Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. 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 finding out more about new hearing technology, call us.