If you wear hearing aids, it’s likely you’ve experienced whistling in your device at some point. This is known as feedback.
Feedback can happen when putting in or taking out your device or during more inopportune moments like when you need to focus on merging onto Interstate 84. An occasional episode is nothing to worry about. However, if it’s happening frequently, it may be a sign there is a problem with your hearing aids.
Style of Hearing Aid May Make Feedback More Likely
You may experience more whistling based on the style of your device. The design of a hearing aid has an effect on feedback levels. For example, Behind-The-Ear models are more likely to produce feedback than In-The-Ear-Canal (ITEC) devices. Your hearing aid expert may need to make adjustments to reduce whistling if your hearing aid is more prone to feedback.
Turn Down the Volume
Sometimes fixing whistling can be as simple as turning the volume down on your device. Too high of a volume can force the sound to re-enter your hearing aids, causing feedback. If the sound is too quiet when your hearing aids are at a lower volume, make an appointment with your audiologist. You may need your settings adjusted.
Make Sure Your Device Fits Properly
Your ears can actually change shape over time. This can be due to things like age or fluctuation in weight. If your ears change, it can cause the earmold to loosen and not seal properly, which causes feedback. Getting new earmolds fitted to your ear should correct the problem.
Issues with Microphone or Tubing
Feedback can indicate a problem with specific parts of your hearing aid. It’s possible your microphone is dislodged or that the tubing on your device has begun to harden and shrink. In each case, you’ll need to have your hearing aids examined by a professional to fix the problem.
Clean Your Hearing Aids to Avoid Earwax Buildup
Earwax can cause a lot of problems for your hearing aids. If your ear canal is blocked by too much earwax, sound can’t get through and instead bounces back into your device. Buildup can also irritate your ears and in some cases, make it difficult to hear.
Create a regular maintenance routine that involves nightly cleanings, proper storage and regular checkups with your hearing aid specialist.
If you are having problems with feedback or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, contact PDX ENT today.