It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, coming to grips with and acknowledging the truth of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you pushed through and visited a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting session, because you knew that’s what was best for your health. More than likely, you immediately recognized the advantages one receives from using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.
But sometimes you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing advantages. Your hearing aids squeal. The squealing you’re hearing is more generally 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, this is a problem you can correct relatively simply. Stopping your hearing aid from whistling can be accomplished using the following suggestions:
1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted
Possibly the most prevalent reason for feedback or whistling in the ear concerns the placement of your hearing aid in your ear or the earmold connected to it. If the hearing aid doesn’t fit securely inside of your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The outcome of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit actually is. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. As time passes, this piece can crack, harden or shrink, which unseats the earmold from its best position. 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 most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other substances are prevented 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 produce but there can be an adverse effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will unavoidably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. 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 again. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. In order to eliminate undue accumulation, however, the best strategy is to have your ears correctly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Sometimes the most reliable solution is the most evident. Have you ever seen someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? The same concept applies here. 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 result, like if you give someone a hug and bury your ear into their shoulder. This issue should be easy to fix just by uncovering the hearing aid.
Here’s a bonus tip: Think about getting a new hearing aid. Some causes for concern are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology regularly. If you’re having problems with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, call us.