Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s difficult to accept, for many, coming to grips with and acknowledging the truth of hearing loss. Because you recognized that it was best for your health, you made the choice to go and get fitted for a hearing aid by a hearing specialist. Most likely, you immediately realized the benefits one receives by using a hearing aid, including the ability to deal with tinnitus, hear speech (even amidst the din of background noise), and the possibility of recovering from cognitive decline.

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 word for this whistling. 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 fix relatively simply. We’ve organized a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from whistling.

1. Adjust The Fit of Your Hearing Aid

The positioning of the hearing aid in your ear or the earmold it’s connected to is likely the most predominant reason for feedback. If the hearing aid does not fit properly within your ear, sound can get out and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. Depending on how poorly the fit is and how much sound has escaped, the consequences of the leakage can be either a constant or an intermittent squealing. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid designs with an earmold. Over time, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its proper position. This movement can cause whistling, 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 perceived by most people to be foul or unwelcome, as beneficial to our bodies, but it really is. Dirt and other substances are stopped from entering the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions like chewing or talking, there are times when an accumulation of too much earwax can have negative consequences. When you put a hearing aid on top of an extreme amount of earwax, you’re bound to receive feedback. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. With no clear place to go, the sound circles and goes through the microphone once more. Doing things including letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea may be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to prevent excessive buildup and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often 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? 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 hug someone and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should be enough to fix the problem.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider getting a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are regularly integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for concern. If you’re having issues with whistling from your hearing aids, or you’re interested in finding out more about new hearing technology, call us.