It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and accepting the truth of hearing loss. Because you realized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. More than likely, you quickly recognized the advantages one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.
But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. The whistling 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. This, luckily for you, is an issue that can be corrected 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 likely the most prevalent reason for feedback. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit securely inside of your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The consequences 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. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can improve the issue by replacing the plastic piece.
2. Get Rid of Excessive Earwax
It’s ironic to think of something such as earwax, which is thought of by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other substances are stopped from entering the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions like Talking and chewing, 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 comes around and goes through the microphone once more. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help eliminate excessive earwax. In order to prevent undue buildup, however, the best idea is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care expert.
3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered
Often times the most successful solution is the most evident. How many times have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. You could even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.
Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best option. Some causes for worry are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology all of the time. If you’re having problems with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, give us a call.