For many individuals, admitting and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Because you recognized 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 recognized the benefits one receives from wearing 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 occasionally, amongst all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids whistle. The whistling you’re hearing is more typically 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. This, luckily 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 squealing.
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 prevalent reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit correctly inside of your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The result 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 actually is. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models with an earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can improve the whistling which is caused by this movement.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
It’s ironic to think of something like earwax, which is perceived by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other substances are prevented from entering the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, like talking or chewing assist your ears to regulate the amount of earwax they produce but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will inevitably happen if you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound circles and goes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to get rid of 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 Sure The Microphone is Uncovered
Often times the most apparent solution is the most practical. How often have you seen someone attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t develop? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You may 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 hugging them. 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 choice. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models decrease some of these causes for worry. Give us a call if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.