Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and accepting the truth of hearing loss. Because you realized 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 recognized the advantages one receives from 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 mental decline.

But occasionally, among all those life-changing benefits, you get one loud, piercing and shrieking negative. Your hearing aids whistle. The whistling you’re hearing is more typically 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. This, fortunately for you, is an issue that can be corrected fairly easily. We’ve put together 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 probably 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 correctly. 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 whistling. With some hearing aid models, 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 proper position. This movement can cause whistling, but you can fix the issue by replacing the plastic piece.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

Earwax is actually good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we usually think of it as unwelcome or even nasty. Dirt and other things are stopped from entering the ears by this icky substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing help your ears limit the amount of earwax they make but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax accumulates. Feedback will unavoidably happen if you put a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. The reason for this is that the amplified sound has nowhere to go because of the blockage from the wax. With no clear exit, the sound circles and goes through the microphone again. Doing things like letting warm shower water run into your ears can help get rid of excessive earwax. However, the best idea might be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid excessive accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Often times the most obvious solution is the most effective. How many times have you seen someone try to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became momentarily perplexed about why the picture didn’t develop? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or another object, you get the same result, like if you hug someone and put your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best solution. Some causes for concern are being relieved by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology all of the time. Call us if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.