November 14, 2019
While hearing aids can restore hearing to people who are hard-of-hearing and work better than they ever have, they are still devices intended to treat hearing loss that already exists. This means that, occasionally, a hearing aid might have a less than desirable side effects. These can manifest as ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus), itchiness, or conflicts with other electronics. One relatively common side effect of a hearing aid is whistling.
What Causes My Hearing Aids to Whistle?
Whistling is otherwise known as feedback. Many people have heard feedback from a microphone at a concert. With a hearing aid, this sound is directly in your ear, and the cause is the same. Feedback happens because sound has left the source, in this case, the ear, and traveled back into the amplification device, or the hearing aid. This is even more frustrating for someone who is dealing with hearing loss.
When Does Whistling Occur?
Hearing aid users are bound to run into the issue of whistling once in a while. This makes sense when you understand the times that whistling is more likely to happen. Whistling is most likely to occur when the hearing aid is inserted or removed because it is not entirely in place. Additionally, you may hear feedback if you place your hand near your ear. Activities such as hugging that place your shoulders or another person’s body near your ear can cause whistling. Sitting when a chair is in close proximity to your ear can also have the same effect.
Fortunately, feedback has been reduced in modern hearing aids. Digital hearing aids incorporate feedback cancellation. Still, some whistling is bound to happen every now and then. Hearing aid users can typically stop whistling by removing and reinserting their hearing aids.
There are times when whistling should not happen, however. These include when chewing, talking, or turning the head. Hearing aid users who experience whistling during these times should contact their hearing care specialist. There may be something wrong with their hearing aid, such as a broken tube, or the hearing aid may not be fitting into their ear correctly. This can happen because of earwax buildup, among other causes.
People with hearing loss may avoid looking into the cause of the whistling, either because they think the fix will be intensive or because they believe that whistling is unavoidable. However, neither of these things are necessarily true. It may take only a single visit to determine and fix the causes of hearing aid whistling. There’s no reason to put off improving hearing care.
Call Us Today
Patients who experience more than the occasional hearing aid whistle should call us today for more information and to find a resolution.