Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many people, accepting and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Nonetheless, you pushed through and visited a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you recognized that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one gets from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life altering advantages. Your hearing aids whistle. The squealing you’re hearing is more commonly 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, fortunately 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 whistling.

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

Possibly the most prevalent 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. The sound can escape 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 intermittent or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really is. 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. This movement can cause whistling, but you can correct the problem by switching the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

Earwax is actually beneficial for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even foul. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing help your ears control the amount of earwax they make but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will unavoidably occur if you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound can’t go anywhere and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone once more. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. In order to avoid undue buildup, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered

Often the most obvious solution is the most practical. How often have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily puzzled about why the picture didn’t come out? The same idea is applicable 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 hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology regularly. 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.