Woman suffering from feedback in her hearing aids covering her ears.

Does your hearing aid sound a bit like a teakettle right now? The widespread problem of feedback inside of your hearing aids can possibly be fixed. Knowing how hearing aids work and what is behind that incessant whistling sound will get you a little closer to eliminating it. So what can you do about it?

What Exactly Are The Functions of Your Hearing Aids?

A simple microphone and a speaker are the basics of a hearing aid. The speaker plays back the sound in your ear that the microphone picks up. It’s what happens between the microphone and speaker that becomes complicated.

In order for the sound to be processed, it must first be changed into an electrical analog signal. An advanced change from analog to digital is then carried out by a signal processing chip. The sound is cleaned up after becoming digital by the device’s functions and controls.

The digital signal processor then changes the signal back to analog and forwards it to a receiver. It’s not possible to hear these electrical signals that were once a sound. The waves of sound, which the receiver changes the signal back to, are then sent through your ears. Elements in the cochlea convert it back into an electrical signal that the brain can interpret.

It’s hard to comprehend but all of this takes place in a nanosecond. So if your hearing aid is so advanced why does it still feedback?

How do Feedback Loops Occur?

Feedback doesn’t only happen inside hearing aids. Systems with microphones generally have some amount of feedback. In essence, the microphone is picking up sound that is produced by the receiver and re-amplifying it. After going into the microphone and being processed, the receiver then transforms the signal back into a sound wave. The sound is then re-amplified after the microphone picks it up again which creates a loop of feedback. The system hates hearing itself over and over again and that causes it to scream.

Exactly What is The Cause of Hearing Aid Feedback?

There are a number of things that could become a problem which could create this feedback loop. One of the most common causes is turning the hearing aid on in your hand and then putting it into your ear. Your hearing aid starts to process sound right when you hit the “on” switch. This feedback is produced as the sound coming out of the receiver bounces off your hand and right back into the microphone. If your hearing aid is snuggly inside of your ear and then you turn it on, you will have eliminated this particular feedback concern.

In some cases hearing aids don’t fit as well as they should and that leads to feedback problems. If you have lost weight since you had your hearing aids fitted, or if your hearing aids are older, you might have a loose fit. Getting an adjustment from the seller is the only good answer to this one.

Feedback And Earwax

Hearing aids certainly have issues with earwax. Earwax accumulation on the outer casing of the hearing aid stops it from fitting right. And we are already aware that a loose fitting device will cause feedback. If you ask your retailer or perhaps if you study the users-manual, you will learn how to safely clean this earwax off.

Perhaps It’s Simply Broken

This is your next thing to consider when you’ve attempted everything else. A broken hearing aid will certainly cause feedback. The casing could have a crack in it somewhere, for example. You should not attempt to fix this at home. Schedule a session with a hearing aid repair service to get it fixed.

When is Feedback Not Actually Feedback

You could very well be hearing something that you think sounds like feedback but it’s actually not. There are a few other things that can go wrong with your hearing aids, like a low battery, which can give you a warning sound. The sound should be carefully listened to. Is it a tone or a beep, or does it really sound like feedback? If your device includes this feature, the owners manual will tell you.

It doesn’t make a difference what brand or style you have. Typically, the actual cause of the feedback is quite clear no matter what brand you have.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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