For many of you, accepting and dealing with the truth of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you soldiered on and visited a hearing expert for a hearing aid fitting session, because you recognized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you immediately realized the benefits one gets by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.
But sometimes you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life altering advantages. Your hearing aids squeal. The whistling you’re hearing is more typically known as feedback. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. Fortunately for you, 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
Probably the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the positioning of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit correctly inside of your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the consequences of the leakage can be either a continuous or a sporadic squealing. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid designs with an earmold. As time passes, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its correct position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can improve the problem by switching the plastic piece.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
It’s strange to think of something like earwax, which is thought of by many people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it actually is. Dirt and other things are stopped from entering the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing help your ears control the amount of earwax they generate but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax builds up. When you place a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to get feedback. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to remove an abundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to eliminate undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.
3. Make Sure The Microphone is Uncovered
Often the most successful solution is the most evident. How many times have you seen someone attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily puzzled about why the picture didn’t develop? The same idea applies here. 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 give someone a hug and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the issue.
Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best solution. Manufacturers are regularly developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models relieve some of these causes for worry. If you’re having issues with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, give us a call.