It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and accepting the truth of hearing loss. Nevertheless, you soldiered on and went to a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting session, because you knew that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you quickly realized the advantages one receives by using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.
But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life changing positives. Your hearing aids whistle. The squealing you’re hearing is more generally known as feedback. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. Fortunately, this is a problem you can correct relatively simply. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:
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. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the consequences of the leakage can be either a continuous or an intermittent whistling. 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 best position. This movement can cause squealing, but you can correct the problem by replacing the plastic piece.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
Earwax is actually good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwelcome or even foul. This icky substance acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from entering our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions like chewing or talking, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you insert a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear exit, 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 such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea may be to speak to a hearing specialist about correctly cleaning your ears to avoid undue buildup and subsequent whistling.
3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered
Sometimes the most apparent 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? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You may 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. 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 all of the time. Give us a call if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.