Those that own hearings aids know the importance of maintaining and caring for your hearing device. When a small piece of technology is the difference between hearing or not, you learn to take care of it to the best of your ability.
But what happens when there are issues with your hearing aid? Whether these result from user error or technology error, most hearing aid users hope to find a quick and effective solution to relieve this sometimes-serious problem. One main issue that hearing aid users experience is a whistling noise coming from the hearing aid.
Whistling or Squeaking Noise
The disturbing whistling or squeaking noise coming from your hearing aid is caused by feedback. Feedback occurs when the sound coming out of your hearing aid loops back around and goes into the hearing aid’s microphone.
Hearing aid feedback can happen when you put your hand up to your ear, when your ear is in close contact with someone, while you’re inserting/removing your hearing aid, or when something is within 3 or 4 inches of your ear.
This sound is annoying to you and those around you, but you can reduce or eliminate the noise by taking a few simple steps.
The sound that is leaking from your hearing aid can occur because of several reasons. If you’re experiencing a lot of feedback in your new hearing aids, various things could be happening with your device.
What Could Be Happening
One of these is a poor fit. If your hearing aid’s earmold does not fit in your ear correctly, the sound may leak out and then travel back into the device’s microphone, causing a whistling sound. If you do not have custom earmolds, this problem will probably continue. If you did have earmolds made to fit your ear, you should return to your hearing care provider to check the fit. If he or she determines that poor fit is the cause of your feedback, the earmold will have to be remade.
Another cause of this whistling may be the wax in your ears. As many may know, our ears produce wax naturally to trap and expel foreign substances. But, when you have wax build-up in your ears and insert your hearing aids on top of the wax, the sound coming out of the amplifier will be blocked and returned to the microphone, causing a loud whistling noise.
Unfortunately, a quick swipe in your ear with a cotton swab will probably not solve this. Actually, it may make your problems worse. It is best to see a hearing specialist and schedule an appointment for some professional ear wax removal.
If the hearing aid’s microphone is covered with any sort of substance such as wax or debris, it will make a noise. Gently cleaning the holes of the microphone with a wax pick or hook should solve the problem. However, some hearing aids are more sensitive to feedback than others. If feedback is an ongoing problem despite taking these steps to eliminate it, schedule a visit with your hearing professional.
Prevention is the Key
While this whistling sound may be very annoying, fortunately, you can do a few things to prevent it. The first thing you can do is make sure you do not lean your ear against a pillow or cover it with a hat or scarf. This can trap sound from the hearing aid and cause it to re-enter the microphone.
Another thing you can do is to place the tip of the hearing aid or earmold securely inside of your ear. As we stated before, feedback is more common when the tip is not in the right position.
If you have a volume control on your hearing aid, keep the setting near its default. Feedback can sometimes happen when you turn the sound up too high. Finally, it is essential to ask your audiologist or your doctor to check your ears and, if necessary, remove any wax buildup.
Many new digital hearing aids have a feature called feedback cancellation. With this feature, the hearing aid system monitors the signal that returns to the microphone and removes it before the sound is re-amplified. Your hearing aid will automatically adjust itself based on anticipated feedback sounds and will not whistle or squeak with this system.
Occasional hearing aid feedback is perfectly normal, and you should be able to stop it by taking your device out of your ear and re-inserting it. However, if you are experiencing feedback often, there may be something wrong with your hearing aid. If you hear whistling when you move your jaw to chew, talk, or turn your head, you should visit your hearing specialist.
If you or a loved one are having difficulty with your hearing aids and require the help of a hearing specialist in the Las Vegas area, consider visiting Hearing Associates of Las Vegas. We will see to all of your hearing needs, helping to improve your quality of life and relive the joy of hearing.