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

Are you starting to hear a high pitch noise coming from your hearing aids? The widespread issue of feedback in your hearing aids can most likely be corrected. Knowing how hearing aids function and what might be the reason for that annoying whistling sound will get you one step closer to eradicating it. What can you do about hearing aid feedback?

What Exactly Are The Functions of Your Hearing Aids?

A simple microphone and a speaker are the basics of hearing aid technology. When a sound is picked up by the microphone, the speaker then plays it back in your ears. When the microphone picks up the sound but prior to when it gets played back by the speaker, there are some complicated functions that occur.

Once a sound wave is picked up by the microphone it is transformed to an electrical analog signal for processing. A state of the art digital signal processing chip then turns the analog signal to digital. The sound is cleaned up after becoming digital by the device’s functions and settings.

The processor then transforms the signal back to analog and transmits it to a receiver. 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 convert it back into an electrical signal that the brain can understand.

Surprisingly all of this complicated functionality happens in a nanosecond. What goes wrong to cause the feedback whistle, though?

How do Feedback Loops Occur?

Feedback happens in other sound systems besides hearing aids. You hear that same high pitched noise in most sound systems that employ a microphone. Essentially, the microphone is picking up sound that is coming from the receiver and re-amplifying it. The sound wave enters the microphone, then goes through the processing and then the receiver transforms it into a sound wave. A feedback loop is then produced when the microphone picks up the sound again and re-amplifies it. The system hates hearing itself over and over again and that makes it screech.

Exactly What is The Cause of Hearing Aid Feedback?

A feedback loop might be brought about by several issues. If you turn on your hearing aid while it’s still in your hand before you put it in, you will get one of the most common causes. As soon as you press the on button, your hearing aid begins processing sound waves. This feedback is triggered as the sound coming from the receiver bounces off your hand and then right back into the microphone. If your hearing aid is snuggly inside of your ear before turning it on, you will have resolved this particular feedback hassle.

In some cases hearing aids don’t fit as well as they should and that can lead to feedback. Loose fittings have a tendency to be a problem with older hearing aids or if you’ve lost some weight since you last had them fitted. Getting it adjusted by the retailer is the only real answer to this one.

Earwax And Feedback

With regards to hearing aids, earwax is not a friend. Earwax accumulation on the casing of the hearing aid keeps it from fitting properly. And we are already aware that a loose fitting device will cause feedback. Look in the manual that you got with your hearing aids or ask the retailer to determine how to clean earwax off without damaging the device.

Perhaps It’s Only Broke

This is your next thing to think about when you’ve tried everything else. Feedback can certainly be caused by a broken or damaged hearing aid. For example, the outer casing may be cracked. You should not attempt to fix this damage at home. Schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert to get a repair.

Occasionally What Sounds Like Feedback is Really Something Else Entirely

You could very well be hearing something that sounds like feedback but it’s really not. Some hearing aids use sound to warn you of imminent issues like a low battery. Pay attention to the sound. Is it a tone or a beep, or does it really sound like feedback? If your device comes with this feature, the manual will tell you.

It doesn’t matter what brand or style you own. Typically, the cause of the feedback is quite clear regardless of what brand you own.

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today