Quality Hearing Systems - Maplewood, MN

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and acknowledging the truth of hearing loss. Because you realized that it was best for your health, you made the decision to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from mental decline.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. Your hearing aids squeal. 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, luckily for you, is a problem that can be fixed fairly easily. We’ve organized 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

Possibly the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to. If the hearing aid does not fit correctly inside of your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the result of the leakage can be either a continuous or a sporadic squealing. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct 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. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax

It’s strange to think of something such as earwax, which is perceived by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. This icky substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and stops them from getting into our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to regulate the amount of earwax they produce but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. 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 such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea may be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent excessive buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most effective solution is the most evident. Have you ever seen someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Anything covering the device can cause it to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same outcome, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the problem.

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