Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: Hearing loss in hospital

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 04 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6726

Rapid Response:

Re: David Oliver: Hearing loss in hospital and whistling hearing aids

Dear Editor

Healthcare workers are frequently confronted with elderly patients lying awkwardly on pillows with whistling hearing aids.

The first instinct is to turn the aid off or to remove it to stop the whistling because this is a very annoying noise for the healthcare worker. As Dr Oliver says many of the aids are then lost.

The whistling is the result of feedback because the mould of the aid has become slightly dislodged from the ear. The correct approach is to give the hearing aid a little jiggle to ensure the mould is snug and the whistling will stop immediately. In my experience most non hearing aid users are unaware of this.

Competing interests: No competing interests

07 December 2019
peter r prinsley
ENT Consultant
James Paget University Hospital