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

Does your hearing aid sound a little like a teapot these days? Feedback is a common concern with hearing aids but it’s not something that can’t be fixed. If you want to get quite a bit closer to knowing why you keep getting that high pitch whistling noise, you need to learn how your hearing aids operate. 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 hearing aid technology. The speaker plays the sound in your ear which the microphone picks up. But there are complex functions between the time that the microphone picks up the sound and when the speaker plays it back.

The sound is translated into an analog electrical signal for processing after entering the microphone. A state of the art digital signal processing chip then converts the analog signal to a digital one. The sound is clarified after becoming digital by the device’s functions and controls.

The signal is sent to a receiver after being modified back to analog by the processor. You’re ears don’t hear these electrical signals which were once a sound. The receiver converts it back to sound waves and sends them through your ears. Elements in the cochlea turn it back into an electrical signal that the brain can understand.

It’s hard to comprehend but all of this takes place in a nanosecond. In spite of all of this advanced technology, the hearing aid still has feedback.

How do Feedback Loops Happen?

Feedback happens in other sound systems besides hearing aids. If there is a microphone, most likely there is some amount of feedback. The receiver generates sound which the microphone then picks up and re-amplifies. The sound wave goes into the microphone, goes through the processing and then the receiver transforms it into a sound wave. The sound is then re-amplified after the microphone picks it up again which produces a loop of feedback. Put simply, the hearing aid is listening to itself and doesn’t like it.

Exactly What is The Cause of Hearing Aid Feedback?

A feedback loop might be created by several difficulties. If you turn on your hearing aid while it’s still in your hand prior to putting it in, you will get one of the most common causes. Right when you push the on button, your hearing aid starts to process sound waves. This feedback is triggered when the sound coming out of the receiver bounces off of your hand and then right back into the microphone. When your hearing aid is snuggly in your ear and then you turn it on, you will have resolved this particular feedback concern.

Feedback is sometimes caused when your hearing aid isn’t fitting as well as it should. Loose fitting devices tend to be a problem with older hearing aids or if you’ve lost some weight since you last had them fitted. Getting an adjustment from the seller is the only good remedy to this one.

Feedback And Earwax

With regards to hearing aids, earwax is not a friend. Hearing aids usually won’t fit right if there is earwax built up on the casing. When that happens, the device becomes loose again and triggers feedback. If you ask your retailer or perhaps if you read the users-manual, you will determine how to safely clean this earwax off.

Maybe It’s Simply Broken

If everything else fails you need to take this into consideration. Feedback will absolutely be caused by a broken or damaged hearing aid. For example, the outer casing might be cracked. It’s unwise to try and fix it on your own. Schedule a session with a hearing aid repair service to have it fixed.

When is Feedback Not Really Feedback

Hearing aids will make other noises that you may think sound like feedback but are in fact something else. Some hearing aids employ sound to alert you of imminent problems like a low battery. Pay attention to the sound. Is it actually a screeching noise or does it sound more like a beep? Consult the manual to see if your device comes with this feature and what other warning sounds you should listen for in the future.

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

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