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

Are you starting to hear an annoying high pitch noise coming from your hearing aids? The common issue of feedback in your hearing aids can most likely be fixed. Understanding how hearing aids work and what is behind that constant whistling will get you a little closer to eliminating it. What can you do about hearing aid feedback?

How Do Hearing Aids Work?

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

In order for the sound to be processed, it needs first to be changed into an analog signal. A sophisticated change from analog to digital is then carried out by a signal processing chip. The device’s sophisticated properties and controls activate to amplify and clean up the sound.

The processor then transforms the signal back to analog and transmits it to a receiver. It’s not possible to hear these electrical signals which were once a sound. The receiver converts the signal back into sound waves and sends them through your ears. Elements in the cochlea convert it back into an electrical signal that the brain can understand.

This all sounds very complex but it occurs in about a nanosecond. So if your hearing aid is so advanced why does it feedback?

How do Feedback Loops Happen?

Hearing aids are not the only place where you notice feedback. If there is a microphone, chances are there is some feedback. Essentially, the microphone is picking up sound which is coming from the receiver and re-amplifying it. After entering the microphone and being processed, the receiver then transforms the signal back into a sound wave. The microphone then picks up that sound wave again and amplifies it generating the feedback loop. The hearing aid doesn’t like hearing itself over and over again and that causes it to scream.

Exactly What is The Cause of Hearing Aid Feedback?

A feedback loop can be created by several issues. A very common cause is turning the hearing aid on while it’s still in your hand and then putting it in your ear. As soon as you press the on switch, your hearing aid starts to process sound. The sound coming from the receiver bounces off of your hand and then back into the microphone creating the feedback. Before you turn your hearing aid on put it inside of your ear and you will eliminate this particular source of feedback.

Feedback can also be caused when your hearing aid doesn’t fit as well as it should. If you have lost weight since you last had your hearing aids fitted, or if your hearing aids a bit older, you might have a loose fit. Getting it adjusted by the seller is the only good answer to this one.

Feedback And Earwax

Hearing aids certainly have problems with earwax. Hearing aids usually won’t fit well if there is earwax built up on the casing. When that takes place, the device becomes loose again and produces feedback. If you get in touch with your retailer or maybe if you study the manual, you will learn how to safely clean this earwax off.

Maybe It’s Only Broken

When you’ve tried everything else but the whistling continues, this is what you do next. Feedback will absolutely be caused by a broken or damaged hearing aid. The casing might have a crack in it somewhere, for example. You should never attempt to fix this damage at home. Schedule a session with a hearing aid repair service to get it fixed.

When is Feedback Not Actually Feedback

There is a chance that what you are hearing is actually not really feedback to begin with. Some hearing aids use sound to warn you of imminent issues like a low battery. The sound should be carefully listened to. Is it actually a screeching noise or does it sound more like a beep? Consult the manual to see if your device has this feature and what other warning sounds you should pay attention to in the future.

Feedback doesn’t discriminate by brand or style. Typically, the cause of the feedback is very clear regardless of what brand you have.

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