Hearing Services of Nashville

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, dealing with and acknowledging the reality of hearing loss. Because you realized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. More than likely, you quickly realized the benefits one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from mental decline.

But occasionally, among all those life-changing advantages, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids squeal. Feedback is the more common term for this whistling. It’s like what happens when a microphone gets too close to the sound system, the only distinction is this time it’s directly in your ear. Fortunately for you, this is a problem you can correct relatively easily. We’ve organized a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most predominant reason for feedback. The sound can get out and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit right. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the result of the leakage can be either a continuous or an intermittent whistling. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its proper position due to hardening, cracking and shrinking. This movement can cause whistling, but you can improve the issue by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed

It’s ironic 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. This gooey substance acts as a defense against irritants such as dirt and prevents them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the amount of earwax you hold, through actions like chewing or talking, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative consequences. Feedback will inevitably happen if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. Due to the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. In order to prevent undue accumulation, however, the best strategy is to have your ears properly cleaned by a hearing care specialist.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most effective solution is the most obvious. Have you ever seen someone trying to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to discover that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can happen. 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 hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid might be the best solution. Some causes for worry are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are developing new technology regularly. If you’re having trouble with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in learning more about new hearing technology, call us.

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today