What Causes Hearing Aid Feedback?
Have you ever put off getting hearing aids because you’ve heard horror stories about the dreaded hearing aid feedback?
While the whistling sound of hearing aid feedback is common, there are many easy ways to prevent it from happening.
This article will discuss what hearing aid feedback is, the different types of hearing aid feedback, what causes it, and what you can do to prevent it.
What is Hearing Aid Feedback?
Hearing aid feedback is the whistling, buzzing or hissing sound that can be heard when the acoustic signal escapes the ear canal and hits the hearing aid microphone.
There are a few different types of hearing aid feedback, such as
- Acoustical feedback: This happens when the amplified sound produced by the hearing aid speaker is picked up by the hearing aid microphone.
- Mechanical feedback: This is caused by vibrations when the hearing aid speaker comes into contact with the hearing aid casing.
- Electronic feedback: This type of feedback occurs when there’s a problem with the electrical circuits in the hearing aid.
What Causes Hearing Aid Feedback?
There are many different causes of hearing aid feedback, and most of the time, they can be prevented.
1. A poor-fitting hearing aid
Just like our noses, our ears grow and change over time. Due to this, your ears may change shape and earmolds or hearing aids may become loose and not fit properly.
If this happens, sound can escape the ear canal and hit the hearing aid microphone, resulting in feedback.
To prevent this, reinsert your hearing aid to ensure it fits properly. Alternatively, you can go back to your audiologist and get them to adjust your hearing aid for you.
2. The volume is too high
Another reason your hearing aids could be producing feedback is if the volume is too high.
Turning the volume up on your hearing aids may be tempting, but in doing so, it can force the sound to re-enter your hearing aids, resulting in the annoying whistling sound.
To prevent this feedback from occurring, turn the volume of your hearing aids down and avoid the point where it gets so loud that it creates feedback.
3. Broken tubes
For some hearing aids, the tubing that connects to the earmold can harden, shrink or even break. If this happens and the tubing doesn’t fit properly, it can cause sounds to leak out and cause hearing aid feedback. When this happens, you know it’s time to get new tubing.
4. Earwax build-up
One of the most common causes of hearing aid feedback that is entirely preventable is earwax build-up.
Hearing aids help you hear by delivering sounds to your ear canal. However, if your ear canal is blocked with too much earwax, the sound can’t get through and bounces back into your hearing aids, causing feedback.
If you have a build-up of earwax, it can cause hearing aid feedback and cause earaches or damage your hearing. To remove the earwax and prevent hearing aid feedback, get your ears cleaned by a health professional to ensure it’s all out. While you’re at it, make sure your hearing aid receiver or vents aren’t clogged.
5. Dislodged microphones
If your hearing aid microphones are loose or dislodged, it can cause hearing aid feedback.
Your local audiologist or hearing care professional will be able to resolve this issue for you, preventing hearing aid feedback in the future.
Other Alternatives: Feedback Cancellation Features
Many new digital hearing aids have a feature called feedback cancellation.
This feature monitors the part of the signal that returns to the microphone and removes it before the sound is re-amplified, which usually causes feedback.
With this system, your hearing aid will automatically adjust itself based on anticipated feedback sounds and won’t produce the whistling or buzzing sound.
If you have tried all the other methods of preventing hearing aid feedback and haven’t had any luck, investing in hearing aids with the feedback cancellation feature may be the solution you’re looking for.
Although hearing aid feedback can be frustrating at times, there are lots of ways to prevent it from happening.
If you have noticed your hearing aids producing feedback, ensure they’re fitted into your ears properly, your ears are free of earwax, your tubes are functioning correctly, and the hearing aid volume isn’t too loud.
If you’re looking for high-quality hearing aids at affordable prices, browse the range that we have at EarDeals.
We provide a wide range of hearing aids from global manufacturers to suit all degrees of hearing loss and lifestyle needs.
Not sure what type of hearing aid to get? Contact us today to speak to one of our hearing aid brokers, who are happy to help you find a suitable device for your needs.