McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, coming to grips with and accepting the truth of hearing loss. Nevertheless, you soldiered through and visited a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting session, because you realized that’s what was best for your health. Most likely, you immediately recognized the advantages one receives by wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), the possibility of recognizing from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.

But occasionally, amongst all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. You get a loud whistling noise from your hearing aids. Feedback is the more familiar term for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, fortunately for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following suggestions:

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

Perhaps the most prevalent 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 get out 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 result of the leakage can be either a constant or a sporadic whistling. With some hearing aid models, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. This movement can cause squealing, but you can fix the issue by switching the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

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 actually is. This gooey compound acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions such as chewing or talking, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative repercussions. When you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. 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 avoid undue accumulation, however, the best idea is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care expert.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most successful solution is the most obvious. How many times have you seen somebody attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily baffled about why the picture didn’t come out? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Anything covering the hearing aid can cause them to whistle. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same outcome, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while hugging them. This problem should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best solution. Manufacturers are regularly integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve definitely seen modern models decrease some of these causes for concern. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, give us a call.