For many of you, acknowledging and dealing with the reality of hearing loss is difficult to accept. Because you recognized 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 realized the benefits one gets from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from cognitive decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.
But sometimes, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking downside. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. 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. 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
Possibly the most predominant reason for feedback or whistling in the ear involves the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. If the hearing aid does not fit properly within your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The consequences of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or constant, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really 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 proper position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. If you switch out the plastic piece, you can fix the whistling which is caused by this movement.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
It’s strange 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 actually is. This icky substance acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and stops them from getting into our ears. 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. Feedback will inevitably occur if you put a hearing aid on top of too much earwax. Because of 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. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea might be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid excessive accumulation and subsequent whistling.
3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered
Often times the most successful solution is the most obvious. How many times have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily baffled about why the picture didn’t develop? The same idea applies here. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same result, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. This problem should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.
Here’s a bonus tip: Think about purchasing a new hearing aid. Some causes for worry are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology regularly. Call us if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.