Hearing aids do a lot of amazing things – namely, they give you access to sounds you might have missed before you treated your hearing loss. After you’ve grown accustomed to a new pair of hearing aids, they’ll become seamlessly incorporated into your life. With some models, you may even forget you’re wearing hearing aids.
In the past decade, hearing aid technology has grown exponentially. These “mini-computers for your ears” have the ability to connect to your smartphone or home entertainment system, streaming audio directly to your ears, giving you access to crystal clear sound.
But every now and then, it might sneak up on you – that undeniable, sharp, whistle. What is that?
That whistling sound is called feedback, and it’s an unpleasant experience for you – and perhaps others around you. That sharp, frustrating sound may even draw attention to you in ways you want to avoid.
Often, feedback is caused when your hearing aid microphone picks up the sound that it is amplifying. It’s not unlike the sound of feedback when a microphone picks up the sound from speakers at a live music event.
Regardless of the state of your hearing aids, they should not be whistling. Whistling, or feedback, suggests issues with your hearing aid that can be fixed. If you’ve noticed a high-pitched whistle from your hearing aid, check out a few reasons below.
Ear Wax Blockage
Ear wax blockage in your ear canal may be preventing sound from your hearing aid to be delivered. As sound waves hit this blockage, the sound will bounce back through the hearing aid, creating the sound of feedback. Carefully clean your ears, or visit a medical professional to clean your ears. Avoid using cotton swabs in your ears, as they could cause damage to your middle ear if you clean too aggressively. If there is ear wax build up in your hearing aids, clean them as you’ve been instructed by your hearing professional or come visit us at Lifestyle Hearing Solutions for a professional cleaning.
If you’ve got the volume on your hearing aid turned up to max, this could cause feedback. Whistling sounds occur sometimes when the amplified sound in the hearing aid is picked up by the microphone. Generally, your hearing aid should not be turned up to the highest volume. If you find that your hearing aid volume is constantly turned up high, it may be time to visit us. This could signal a change in your hearing abilities, which would be revealed by a hearing test. If you require a different hearing aid prescription, we’ll go over the options with you for a more powerful device.
A loose-fitting hearing aid may cause the whistling sound. When the mold of the hearing aid does not fit properly inside your ear, and the vents are not properly secured, this may lead to the whistle. Believe it or not, weight gain and weight loss may also contribute to a poorly fitted hearing aid! If you’ve noticed a loose fit, visit us to get a new ear mold made. We’ll make sure that you can still hear sounds and frequencies clearly after the adjustment.
If all of the above issues have been ruled out, and you still experience this annoying whistle in your ear, perhaps there is a defect with the device itself. In these cases, check your warranty and talk to us about exchanging your hearing aids for properly functioning ones.
Familiarize Yourself with Your Hearing Aid Features
Newer hearing aid models are designed to address feedback issues with advanced algorithms. In many cases, hearing aids are equipped with a digital feedback cancellation feature that anticipates feedback sounds and eliminate the whistle before it happens. Additionally, with newer digital hearing aids, the sound of feedback is recognized and processed with more speed and precision than older models, which prevents that whistling sound before it even reaches your ears – or the ears of those around you. In some hearing aid models, microphones and receivers are placed further apart to prevent the feedback loop of sound.
Are you experiencing issues with your hearing aids? Have they been whistling more than usual? Come visit us at Lifestyle Hearing Solutions, where our friendly team can take a look and make sure your hearing aids are functioning at their best.