Hearing aids are sensitive devices, and they can begin to show problems. A common issue is whistling, which has many causes. The causes of a whistling hearing aid vary from case to case. But there are common factors. Because of this, it’s relatively simple to rectify the problem yourself or with expert guidance.

What is a Whistling Hearing Aid?

The whistling sound from your hearing aid is feedback. Feedback is when some of the sound produced by an amplifying device comes back through it. With a hearing aid, you perceive a high-pitched sound similar to whistling. In some cases, the sound is low, and in others, it is unbearable. In either case, however, there are common causes. Therefore, it’s straightforward to stop the whistling. If you aren’t comfortable messing with your device, a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) will do it for you.

Why Your Hearing Aid Might Whistle

There are numerous reasons why your hearing aid might whistle. Here are the most common:

  • Not fitting properly: A loose or damaged hearing aid can whistle. Check your device for damage and remove any debris. And try pushing it for a better fit. Also, losing or gaining weight can unseat your device.
  • The volume is too high: A common cause of feedback is having the volume too high. Try adjusting the volume to varying degrees. And keep your device at a volume level where you can hear and the feedback stops.
  • Excess earwax buildup: Excess earwax in your ear canal will bounce sound waves back at your device, causing an intense feedback loop.

These are the most common causes of feedback, and they can have severe consequences.

How Hearing Aid Whistling Affects You

Feedback itself isn’t dangerous. But it can change the way you perceive sounds when wearing your device. And this is what makes a whistling hearing aid dangerous. If you cannot perceive sounds correctly, you lose the inability to locate where they come from. This is hazardous when out in public against heavy traffic and incoming dangers. Additionally, warped audio perception could put you off-balance, meaning a trip or fall is likely. So, you should maintain your device the best you can. But there are also other common causes.

Other Common Causes of Whistling Hearing Aids

A poor fit, high volume and earwax are usually the reasons for feedback in a hearing device. But there are a few other causes you need to be aware of. These typically include:

  • Your earmold has become misshapen.
  • The microphone is not sitting correctly.
  • You’re wearing scarves, hats or other head covering.
  • You are removing your jaw excessively.
  • Holding people tightly, such as when hugging.

Earmolds can warp when cleaning in hot water, and it can take time to get used to fitting. But the rest are everyday things that you probably do all the time, so you need to be extra aware.

How to Prevent Hearing Aid Whistling

Whistling caused by feedback ranges from relatively low to unbearably loud and uncomfortable. As a result, many new devices are fitted with anti-feedback technology. This means you typically won’t have to deal with any whistling unless your device is malfunctioning. Ensure your hearing aid continues to run optimally by following a daily maintenance plan. This means wiping off your device at the end of each day’s use, as well as a thorough cleaning and inspection at least once a week.

This inspection will allow you to keep an eye on the condition of your device and make note of any physical damage that may occur. Additionally, remember to schedule annual examination and professional cleaning with your hearing instrument specialist, as well. This enables them to make any adjustments or perform any deep cleaning to remedy issues that could be impacting the performance of your device.

If you have any questions regarding the care of your hearing aids, simply reach out to your hearing instrument specialist for more thorough instructions on cleaning and handling.

How Sound Choice Hearing Can Help

Hearing aids are finicky devices and can take some time to get used to. Feedback could simply be a case of adjusting your device to fit correctly while finding the right volume. Or it could be that your hearing aid is old, needs cleaning, or is clogged with earwax. At Sound Choice Hearing, we can provide all the assistance you need when it comes to hearing aid whistling. Our expert hearing team is here to help. If you are experiencing device issues, please give us a call at (505) 565-7960.

Tags: faqs, hearing aid troubleshooting tips