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

Are you beginning to hear an annoying high pitch noise coming out of your hearing aids? The well-known issue of feedback in your hearing aids can most likely be corrected. If you want to get quite a bit closer to understanding why you keep hearing that high pitch whistling noise, you need to understand how your hearing aids operate. So what can you do about it?

How Do Hearing Aids Work?

A simple microphone and a speaker are the basics of a hearing aid. After a sound is picked up by the microphone, the speaker then plays it back. When the microphone picks up the sound but before it gets played back by the speaker, there are some complicated functions that happen.

Once a sound wave enters the microphone it gets converted into an electrical analog signal to be further processed. The analog version is then converted into digital by the device’s processor. The device’s sophisticated features and controls activate to amplify and clean up the sound.

The signal is transmitted to a receiver after being changed back to analog by the digital signal processor. At this point, what was once a sound wave becomes an analog electrical signal and that’s not something your ears can hear. The receiver converts it back to sound waves and sends them through your ears. Elements in the cochlea translate it back into an electrical signal that the brain can understand.

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

How do Feedback Loops Happen?

Feedback doesn’t just happen in hearing aids. If the sound system uses a microphone, it is likely that there is some amount of feedback. In essence, the microphone is picking up sound which is coming from the receiver and re-amplifying it. The sound wave goes into the microphone, then goes through the processing and after that the receiver transforms it into a sound wave. The microphone starts to pick up that same sound wave again and amplifies it producing the feedback loop. The hearing aid doesn’t like hearing itself over and over again and that causes it to screech.

Exactly What is The Cause of Hearing Aid Feedback?

A feedback loop might be brought about by several issues. If you turn your hearing aid on in your hand prior to putting it in, you will get one of the most common causes. Your hearing aid begins processing sound waves right when you press the “on” switch. This feedback is produced when the sound coming from the receiver bounces off of your hand and then right back into the microphone. When your hearing aid is snuggly inside of your ear and then you turn it on, you will have solved this particular feedback concern.

Sometimes hearing aids won’t fit as well as they ought to and that can lead to feedback problems. Loose fitting devices 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 an adjustment from the seller is the only real solution to this one.

Earwax And Feedback

When it comes to hearing aids, earwax is in no way a friend. One of the major explanations for why hearing aids don’t fit properly is because of the accumulation of earwax on the casing. When that occurs, the device is once again loose and triggers feedback. If you ask your retailer or if you study the users-manual, you will find out how to safely clean this earwax off.

Maybe It’s Just Broke

When you’ve attempted everything else but the whistling continues, this is what you do next. A damaged hearing aid will definitely cause feedback. For example, the outer casing might be cracked. It’s unwise to try to fix the unit yourself. Make an appointment with a hearing aid specialist to get a repair.

When is Feedback Not Really Feedback

There is a possibility that what you are hearing is not really feedback at all. There are a few other things that can go wrong with your hearing aids, like a low battery, which will give a warning sound. The sound should be carefully listened to. Is it really a whistling noise or does it sound more like a beep? If your device comes with this feature, the manual will tell you.

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

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