Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many of you, accepting and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Nonetheless, you pushed on and went to a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one gets by wearing 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 sometimes you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing benefits. Your hearing aids squeal. Feedback is the more familiar word for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, luckily for you, is a problem 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

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is probably the most predominant reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit properly within your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the outcome of the leakage can be either a continuous or an intermittent whistling. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid designs with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its correct position. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

Earwax is actually good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even foul. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate how much earwax you hold, through actions like Talking and chewing, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative consequences. When you put a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear exit, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to eliminate an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to eliminate undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most successful solution is the most evident. How many times have you seen somebody attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily baffled about why the picture didn’t develop? The same principle applies here. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same result, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. This issue should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology all of the time. If you’re having problems with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, give us a call.