For many of you, accepting and coming to grips with the truth of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you soldiered on and went to a hearing professional for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you knew that’s what is best for your health. Most likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one receives from wearing a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even among the buzz of background noise), the potential to recover from mental decline and the ability to treat tinnitus.
But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life altering benefits. Your hearing aids squeal. The squealing 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 a problem that can be corrected fairly easily. We’ve put together a recap of three tried-and-true ways to stop your hearing aid from squealing.
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 common reason for feedback. The sound can escape and reverberate through the microphone of the hearing aid if it doesn’t fit properly. The outcome of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either sporadic or constant, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really is. A plastic tube connects certain hearing aid models with an earmold. In time, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. This movement can cause squealing, but you can improve the problem by replacing the plastic piece.
2. Excessive Earwax Should be Removed
Earwax is actually good for our bodies, even though, ironically, we tend to think of it as unwelcome or even nasty. Dirt and other things are stopped from getting into the ears by this gooey substance which acts as a defense. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to limit the amount of earwax they generate 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 too much earwax. This is because the amplified sound has nowhere to go due to the blockage from the wax. The sound circles back into the microphone because it has no definite exit. Doing things such as letting warm shower water run into your ears can help eliminate excessive earwax. However, the best idea may be to make an appointment with a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid excessive buildup and subsequent whistling.
3. Uncover the Microphone
Often times the most effective solution is the most obvious. Have you ever noticed 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. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. If you cover the microphone with your hand or something else, you get the same result, like if you give someone a hug and put your ear into their shoulder. This problem should be easy to fix simply by uncovering the hearing aid.
Here’s a bonus tip: A new hearing aid may be the best choice. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models alleviate some of these causes for concern. Give us a call if you are interested in learning about new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.