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What causes my hearing aids to whistle and squeal?

You love everything about your new hearing aids, except for the annoying whistling sound you—and everyone else—hears coming out of them from time to time. What causes this and how can you stop it? Read on to learn about feedback.

There Is Usually an Easy Explanation for Feedback

When sound that comes out of the tiny hearing aid speaker loops back into the hearing aid microphone, this is called feedback. This can be caused by several different things, and the fix depends upon what is causing the feedback. The following are several common causes of hearing aid feedback:

  • Poor fit. A hearing aid ear mold is supposed to fit snugly into your ear. If it does not fit properly, sound can escape and leak back to the microphone, causing whistling. If the whistling you are experiencing is constant and gets worse when you turn up the volume on your hearing aid, it could be caused by a poor fit. A qualified hearing care professional can ensure a perfect fit and make adjustments if anything happens to change the fit, such as weight loss or gain. If you purchase your hearing aids online, it is unlikely that you will get a good fit.
     
  • Wax in your ears. It is normal to have wax in your ear canal. In fact, wax is the body’s homemade cleaner, as it picks up dust and debris before travels further into your ear canal. However, too much wax can block the amplified sound coming out of the hearing aid and send it back to the microphone, causing feedback. Always make sure your ears are as free from wax as possible before inserting your hearing aids and clean wax build-up from your hearing aids each night.
     
  • A covered or blocked microphone. If dirt, debris, or wax build up on the microphone or it is blocked by something else, a feedback whistle will occur. Uncovering or gently cleaning the microphone will eliminate the problem.
     
  • Shifting or jostling. Any time the hearing aid is jostled within the ear, it can create feedback. Putting on a hat, brushing your hair, or even receiving a hug can result in a disturbing squawk from your hearing aid. A proper fit can help with this problem.

New Technology to the Rescue

Feedback used to be a much bigger problem with hearing aids than it is now thanks to better technology. In fact, some of the latest models even offer feedback cancellation, a feature which automatically adjusts the hearing aid when there is feedback to cancel out the noise. Ask about this feature when buying your hearing aids.

We Can Help With Any Cause of Feedback

Whether it’s the initial fit, a readjustment along the way, or choosing the most advanced technology for you, we can help reduce or even eliminate incidents of feedback in your hearing aids. Call now to ask any question you have about feedback and whistling.