How do I get rid of the constant whistling sound from my hearing aids?

Julie Link, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Centennial

23 August 2018 - 629 Views

I always tell my patients that hearing aid whistles don't make them or me look good! If you left your audiology office and the aids were not whistling but now they are, I would check the following at home:

1) Make sure they are in the correct ears. Seems silly but it happens to the best of us!

2) Make sure your aids are properly inserted. Whistling occurs when sound leaks out of ear so you may not have a good seal. 

Custom Aids: If you are wearing a custom hearing aid, make sure it is flush with your skin and the pull string is on the bottom. If your aid is not inserted properly, take the aid out and re-insert.

Behind the Ear Aids: If you are wearing a behind the ear hearing aid, look in the mirror and make sure the kickstand is tucked into the bowl of your ear and the wire or tube is flush against the side of your face. If your aid is not inserted properly, do the following to re-insert:

- Hook body of aid over front of ear where glasses would sit

- Insert dome into ear canal 

- Tuck in kickstand

- Gently massage dome into ear canal so wire sits snuggly next to face

3) If the device is still whistling, open and close the battery door to reset the volume. Sometimes the volume gets turned up on accident and leads to whistling.

4) If you are still experiencing whistling after all of this, schedule an appointment with your audiologist. Whistling is very often caused by earwax buildup! The audiologist can also determine if it is  caused by poor physical fit of the devices (need different wires, domes, earmolds, etc) and re-run your hearing aid feedback test if needed.

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Matthew Pearson

Audiologist in Greater London

23 August 2018 - 640 Views

One common reason for whistling from a hearing aid is a wax build up in the ear meaning the wax prevents the sound getting to the eardrum & it leaks out from around the aid, hits the mics, gets re-amplified & sends the aid into saturation causing it to whistle. 

Getting the ear cleared of wax will normally resolve the issue.

Another reason can be an earmold which isn't properly inserted ie the helix part hanging out of the ear meaning sound leaks back to the mics causing feedback. Re-advising on how to insert the mold or a reduction in the helix part of the mold will usually resolve this.

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Kathryn Zietz

Hearing Healthcare Provider in Scottsdale

23 August 2018 - 622 Views

If hearing aids are not properly coupled to your ear with the correct dome or earmold you can experience feedback/whistling.  I would recommend having your ears checked for wax and then visit your hearing aid provider so they can check your programming, domes and make sure that the manufacturer's feedback routine was run to control feedback.    
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Julie Norin, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

23 August 2018 - 633 Views

Whistling (a.k.a Feedback) can happen for a number of reasons. The most common is a poor fit - meaning, the device in your ear is either gaping (if it's a custom device) so sound meant to stay in the ear is escaping and getting picked up by the device's microphone and sent back through the device. Similarly, if it's a behind the ear device with an ear mold, the ear mold could be a poor fit allowing sound to escape. Feedback can also happen if the ear piece you are using is too small, or open, or the vent is too large relative to the amount of gain or power the device is putting out. You may want to talk to your provider about changing the ear piece or checking the fit. Feedback can also occur when you have a blockage in the ear from ear wax. Lastly, if all of these things are NOT happening, the feedback manager in the programming software may need to be run. Again, checking with your provider is the first and best step.
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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Deerfield

23 August 2018 - 645 Views

There are many causes of whistling or feedback. Commonly wax build up in your ears, or improperly fit or programmed devices can be the culprit.  A broken tube on a traditional behind the ear device can also be the source.  

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Shanna M Mortensen-Dewsnup, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Peoria

27 August 2018 - 561 Views

Your hearing aids should not whistle. Some common causes for whistling include wax buildup in the ear canals or a poor fitting earpiece. If your hearing aids haven't always whistled, then I would have your ears checked for ear wax. If your hearing aids have always whistled, I would go back to the place you got them and have them re-fit the devices. It is not normal for hearing aids to constantly whistle. 

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Vincent D'Auria, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Scarsdale

24 August 2018 - 587 Views

There could be a number of reasons why the hearing aids are constantly whistling. 

1) If they are not properly inserted - make sure they are in the correct ears and/or in all the way

2) If they are not a good fit - the audiologist would need to modify domes/shell

3) If they are not programmed correctly - audiologist would need to make adjustments, run a new feedback test

4) If there is wax in the ear - audiologist would do otoscopy to verify

5) Internal feedback - they would need to go back to the manufacturer

So basically if they are in your ears all the way and still whistling go see your audiologist.

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Stephanie Galloway, AuD

Audiologist in Fuquay Varina

24 August 2018 - 608 Views

Call your hearing care provider to determine the exact cause. Pretty much the only way for you to get rid of the whistling is to turn the hearing aid volume down. Even if that works, it pretty much defeats the purpose of the hearing aid. As mentioned before, it can be the fit of the hearing aid or wax in the ear canal. Believe it or not, even weight loss/gain can have an effect on the fit of hearing aids. They may also need recalibrating. All of these will require a visit to your hearing care professional, so give them a call to determine the true cause and get it resolved.
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Melissa Wikoff, AuD

Doctor of Audiology in Marietta

23 August 2018 - 627 Views

If properly fit and programmed, you should not hear a constant whistling (called feedback) from your hearing aids. This almost always needs to be assessed by your audiologist. Your audiologist can help determine if they are not properly inserted, fitting too loose, blocked by earwax (either in your hear or clogging the hearing aid), or improperly programmed for your hearing loss. Good luck!
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Olga Lis, MS

Audiologist in Brooklyn

23 August 2018 - 630 Views

There are many possible causes for feedback. Most common is poor fit, either in the custom, in-the-ear device, or the earmold in the behind-the-ear device. When poor fit is an issue, oftentimes the feedback will go away if you press on the hearing aid or the earmold. Sometimes, impacted wax in the ear can cause feedback. There is also a possibility that there is a small crack in the body of the hearing aid or tubing, causing what is known as the internal feedback. Something like this needs to be addressed in person, so best advice is to consult with your audiologist. 
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Julie Norin, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

23 August 2018 - 633 Views

Whistling (a.k.a Feedback) can happen for a number of reasons. The most common is a poor fit - meaning, the device in your ear is either gaping (if it's a custom device) so sound meant to stay in the ear is escaping and getting picked up by the device's microphone and sent back through the device. Similarly, if it's a behind the ear device with an ear mold, the ear mold could be a poor fit allowing sound to escape. Feedback can also happen if the ear piece you are using is too small, or open, or the vent is too large relative to the amount of gain or power the device is putting out. You may want to talk to your provider about changing the ear piece or checking the fit. Feedback can also occur when you have a blockage in the ear from ear wax. Lastly, if all of these things are NOT happening, the feedback manager in the programming software may need to be run. Again, checking with your provider is the first and best step.
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