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Gold Country Hearing - Gold Country Valley, CA

Man holding ear because his hearing aid is whistling.

For many of you, acknowledging and coming to grips with the reality of hearing loss is a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, you soldiered through and visited a hearing specialist for a hearing aid fitting appointment, because you knew that’s what is best for your health. More than likely, you quickly recognized the benefits one gets from using a hearing aid, including the ability to hear speech (even amidst the buzz of background noise), the potential to recover from cognitive decline and the ability to deal with tinnitus.

But once in a while you get a loud, piercing, shrieking negative amongst all the life altering benefits. Your hearing aids squeal. The squealing you’re hearing is more commonly known as feedback. It’s like what happens when a microphone comes too close to the sound system, the only difference is this time it’s directly in your ear. This, fortunately for you, is an issue that can be fixed fairly easily. Stopping your hearing aid from squealing can be accomplished using the following guidelines:

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. If the hearing aid does not fit securely inside of 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 a sporadic whistling. With some hearing aid designs, a plastic tube will connect the actual device with the earmold. Over time, this piece can harden, shrink or crack, which unseats the earmold from its best position. This movement can cause squealing, but you can improve the problem by switching the plastic piece.

2. Remove Excessive Earwax

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 like dirt and stops them from getting into our ears. Actions, such as talking or chewing assist your ears to limit the amount of earwax they produce but there can be a negative effect if too much earwax builds up. Feedback will unavoidably occur if you insert a hearing aid on top of an excessive amount of earwax. Because of the blockage from earwax, the amplified sound has nowhere to go and this is the reason for the feedback. With no clear exit, the sound comes around and goes through the microphone again. There are a few ways to eliminate an overabundance of wax from your ears such as letting a warm shower run into your ears. However, the best idea may be to speak to a hearing specialist about properly cleaning your ears to avoid excessive accumulation and subsequent whistling.

3. Uncover the Microphone

Sometimes the most apparent answer is the most effective. Have you ever seen someone attempting to take a picture which didn’t come out, only to find that the lens cap was still on? With hearing aids the same thing can occur. Whistling can occur when something is covering the device. You may even get the same result by covering the microphone with your hand or another object, like if you give someone a hug and bury your ear into their shoulder. Uncovering the hearing aid should suffice in fixing the issue.

Here’s a bonus tip: Consider purchasing a new hearing aid. Some causes for worry are being alleviated by modern hearing aid models and manufacturers are integrating new technology all of the time. Call us if you are interested in checking out new hearing aid technology or if you are having trouble with your current hearing aids whistling.

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