Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, for many, dealing with and admitting the truth of hearing loss. Nonetheless, you pushed through and visited a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting session, because you realized that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you immediately recognized the benefits one gets by using a hearing aid, including the ability to treat tinnitus, hear speech (even among the din of background noise), and the potential to recover from cognitive decline.

But on occasion you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative among all the life changing benefits. Your hearing aids whistle. 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. 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 whistling.

1. The Way Your Hearing Aid Fits Can be Adjusted

Probably 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 within your ear, sound can escape and reverberate through the hearing aid’s microphone. The result of that leakage can be a whistling that’s either intermittent or continuous, depending on how much sound has escaped and how poorly the fit really is. A plastic tube connects some hearing aid models with an earmold. After a while, the earmold can become unseated from its correct position due to shrinking, cracking and hardening. If you replace the plastic piece, you can improve 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. This gooey compound acts as a defense against irritants like dirt and stops them from getting into our ears. While your ears will self-regulate the quantity of earwax you hold, through actions like Talking and chewing, there are times when a buildup of too much earwax can have negative consequences. Feedback will inevitably 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 comes around and goes through the microphone once more. There are a few ways to get rid of an overabundance of wax from your ears like letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea could be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid undue accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Make Certain The Microphone is Uncovered

Often times the most reliable solution is the most obvious. How many times have you seen someone attempting to take a photo with the lens cap on their camera and watched as they became temporarily puzzled about why the picture didn’t come out? The same principle is applicable here. Whistling can happen when something is covering the device. You could even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you bury your ear in someone’s shoulder while giving them a hug. This issue should be easy to correct just by uncovering the hearing aid.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Manufacturers are routinely integrating new hearing aid technology into devices, and we’ve already seen modern models decrease some of these causes for concern. Call us if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having a problem with your current hearing aids whistling.