How to Adjust a Screeching Hearing Aid

By Nadia Benavidez

When your hearing aid makes a high-pitched screeching noise, it's embarrassing and annoying, and it interferes with the better hearing your hearing aids should be providing you. So how do you solve the problem without turning off or taking out your hearing aid? Find the cause and solve it for good. Hearing aids screech when they're not fitting in your ear properly, are turned up too high, are programmed incorrectly, need cleaning or need repair. If you solve the underlying issue with your screeching hearing aid, you'll have less adjusting to do.

When your hearing aid makes a high-pitched screeching noise, it's embarrassing and annoying, and it interferes with the better hearing your hearing aids should be providing you. So how do you solve the problem without turning off or taking out your hearing aid? Find the cause and solve it for good. Hearing aids screech when they're not fitting in your ear properly, are turned up too high, are programmed incorrectly, need cleaning or need repair. If you solve the underlying issue with your screeching hearing aid, you'll have less adjusting to do.

Stop squealing

Turn down your hearing aid's volume. A hearing aid will screech if the high frequency volume is set too high. If your hearing aid has a manual volume adjustment either via a volume wheel, remote control or push button, adjust your hearing aid and see if that stops the screeching. If you have to turn your hearing aid down so low—to stop the screeching—that you can't hear, it may be something other then volume causing the screech.

Push your hearing aid or ear mold into your ear. If this temporarily stops the screeching then your hearing aid or ear mold is too loose in your ear. When a hearing aid isn't sealing or seating correctly in your ear canal, you can experience squealing or feedback from your hearing aid. Fitting adjustments need to be done by your hearing healthcare provider.

Check your hearing aid or ear mold for ear wax. When ear wax gets inside of a hearing aid's microphone or receiver, it can cause the hearing aid to feedback. Having wax build up inside your ear canal can also cause your hearing aid to screech. It's best to let a professional clean your hearing aid and ear; schedule a cleaning with your hearing healthcare provider.

Constant screeching—that only you can hear—coming from your hearing aid, is a sign of internal technical malfunctioning. Called internal feedback, this constant high-pitched hum or squeal can—at first—only be heard by the person wearing the hearing aid, but as the problem worsens, the sound may be heard by others. Eventually the hearing aid will stop working and need repair. When a hearing aid has internal feedback, it isn't providing you with optimal hearing.

Schedule a reprogramming appointment with your hearing health care provider. If turning down, cleaning or pushing on your hearing aid doesn't stop the screeching, your hearing aid may need a professional tune-up or professional computer programming.

Tip

If your hearing aid has no manual volume control, make an appointment with your hearing healthcare provider to have your hearing aid adjusted

All hearing aids screech a little when you cover them with your hand, but the screech should stop after a few seconds. If your hearing aids constantly screech when using the telephone, hugging people or cupping your hand over them, you may want to consider upgrading to newer technology. Digital hearing aids have built in anti-feedback algorithms to stop the screech with-in a few seconds.

Warning

Repairing your own hearing aid can void the manufacturers warranty. Check with your hearing aid providers office before attempting to fix your own hearing aid.

References

About the Author

In the hot desert of Arizona, Nadia Benavidez has been studying hearing instrument science since 2002. After leaving a clinical practice, Benavidez has put her talent to work writing informative articles related to health and wellness. Currently Benavidez is working on her first book.

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