It’s difficult to accept, for many, dealing with and accepting the truth of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you soldiered on and visited a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting session, because you knew that’s what was best for your health. Most likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one gets from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), the potential to recover from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.
But sometimes you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life altering benefits. Your hearing aids squeal. Feedback is the more familiar word for this whistling. 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. This, luckily for you, is an issue 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. Modify The Fit of Your Hearing Aid
Possibly the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves 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 right. 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 actually is. With some hearing aid models, 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. This movement can cause squealing, but you can correct the issue by replacing the plastic piece.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
Earwax is really good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwanted or even nasty. Dirt and other things are prevented from getting into the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions such as chewing or talking, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative consequences. When you place a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear place to go, the sound comes around and passes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to get rid of an abundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. In order to prevent undue buildup, however, the best strategy is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Often times the most reliable solution is the most obvious. Have you ever seen someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? The same principle applies here. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. You could even get the same outcome 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 suffice in fixing the issue.
Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best solution. Manufacturers are regularly developing new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for worry. Call us if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.