Hearing Aids

Hearing Aids Whistling?

Sometimes hearing aids whistle. Yes, it’s annoying. Don’t worry though, there’s a few reasons this can happen and it’s easy to sort out! Whistling, or hearing aid feedback, can be caused by the simplest of things, even just putting on a scarf.


How feedback occurs

You get that whistling noise when the sound that was supposed to go into your ear canal leaves your ear and jumps back into the hearing aid microphone. This sound becomes amplified and causes the annoying whistling sound.

This feedback can happen at various points in any normal day, such as putting your hearing aids on in the morning or removing them at night. It can even happen when someone gives you a hug (when they’re allowed to of course!). At this point, the whistling is normal; the hearing aids are reacting to the sound bouncing back from your surroundings.

There are also occasions where you will experience feedback when everything’s not normal and something needs to be looked at. Something could be wrong with the aid itself, or it could be resolved by cleaning it. In this instance, it’s always best to contact your hearing care professional to seek advice.


What to do about feedback

Some hearing aids come with feedback cancellation which is great, but this doesn’t always completely stop the feedback. These are the most common causes of feedback, but it could be any number of reasons as to why you are experiencing it:

  • A poor fit: Ears change over time and may even change shape which could cause earmolds to become loose therefore not sealing your ears properly. This will result in the sound escaping from your air and jumping back into your aid. If you believe this is the case, get in touch with your hearing care professional. Weight gain or loss is one of the reasons this may happen.
  • Too loud: If the volume on your aids is turned up too loud, it can force the sound to re-enter your hearing aids and cause whistling. All you need to do to resolve this is turn the sound down.
  • Broken tube: On some hearing aids, the tube connecting the earmold can become hard and shrink – this will then pull and no longer fit correctly. Again, in this instance, it’s time to get in touch with your hearing care professional.
  • Earwax: If the ear canal is blocked with earwax, sounds can’t get through from your hearing aid. In this case, the sound will bounce back into your hearing aids and start whistling. Excessive earwax can also give you earache or damage your hearing. If you suffer with earwax regularly, it would be a good idea to have the wax removed by a professional.
  • Dislodged microphonesSometimes feedback can be caused by loose / dislodged microphones. Speak to your hearing care professional to resolve this one.

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