Whistling is a problem that some people experience with their hearing aids. It is called ‘FEEDBACK’ and can be disconcerting to the hearing aid wearer and those around them……….
Feedback is caused by amplified sounds from the hearing aid leaking out from inside the ear through tiny spaces between the earmould or hearing aid and the ear, and then going back into the microphone of the hearing aid.
Generally speaking, a hearing aid will whistle when it is held in your hand or if you turn it on before placing in your ear, or if you cup your hand over your ear whilst it is in your ear. Once the hearing aid or mould is sitting in your ear properly and at the correct volume setting, it should not whistle.
The following are some of the causes of feedback (whistling), and what can be done to stop it:-
EAR WAX – Excessive wax build-up in the ear can be a cause of the feedback as it blocks the sound from travelling down the ear canal to the inner ear.
Solution – Ask your Doctor or Clinician to check your canals for wax build up. If there is too much wax it will have to be removed by a Doctor.
DAMAGED HEARING AID SHELL, EAR MOULD OR SPLIT TUBING – The plastic
tubing for behind the ear hearing aids can become brittle with age and split,
allowing sound to leak out. The hearing
aid shell or ear mould can also crack also causing leakage of amplified sound.
Solution – Contact The Hearing Aid Centre to arrange for repair, re-tubing or new ear mould.
EAR MOULD OR HEARING AID NOT SITTING IN EAR PROPERLY- An ear mould or hearing aid not inserted into the ear correctly can also cause feedback. Sometimes the mould or aid can work its way loose due to ear and jaw movements, breaking the ‘seal’ between the device and the ear – leaving space for the sound to leak out.
Solution – Make sure that your hearing aid and earmould are correctly positioned in the ear. Check in the mirror or ask family or a friend to make sure that it is inserted properly.
If you have a mould that is difficult to insert you may find that using a lubricant will make it slide in more easily. If you have ear infections for skin problems, however, it is recommended you check with your Doctor first before using a ubricant in your ears.
If you are having continual difficulty putting the earmould or hearing aid in your ear, contact The Hearing Aid Centre for assistance.