How to Stop The Whistling in Your Ears

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many individuals, accepting and dealing with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Nonetheless, you pushed through and went to a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you quickly realized the benefits one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But occasionally, among all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids squeal. 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, fortunately for you, is a problem that can be corrected fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

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 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 squealing. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.

2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

Earwax is really beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwanted 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 help your ears regulate the amount of earwax they produce but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax builds up. Feedback will unavoidably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. There are a few ways to eliminate an overabundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to eliminate undue accumulation, however, the best strategy is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Sometimes the most reliable solution is the most obvious. How often have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily puzzled about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Anything covering the device can cause it to whistle. 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 hugging them. This issue should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are regularly developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for concern. If you’re having issues with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, give us a call.

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