Persistent whistling or squealing noises from your hearing aids can be bothersome, drawing unwanted attention and possibly deterring you from using your aid. This guide will provide a comprehensive understanding of hearing aid feedback, its causes, and reliable solutions to alleviate the issue.
“Your improved quality of life should not be hindered by feedback from your hearing aids. Let’s fix address this issue!”
What is Hearing Aid Feedback?
Hearing aid feedback, in simple terms, is the whistling or other noises produced by your hearing device. This occurs when the sound amplified by your hearing aid gets picked up again by the hearing aid microphone, creating a continuous loop or “feedback”. The result is a high-pitched whistle, scream-like sound, screeching, squealing, chirping, or a low pitch hum, depending on the specific frequencies leaking out and the hearing aid’s design and function.
Causes of Hearing Aid Feedback
Ill-fitted Hearing Aids
An ill-fitted hearing aid often causes feedback. When the device doesn’t fit snugly in your ear, it creates a gap, allowing the amplified sound intended for your ear canal to escape and be picked up again by the hearing aid’s microphone.
A buildup of earwax in your ear canal can interfere with the transmission of sound waves. These waves, instead of being channeled neatly into your ear, bounce back from the wax blockage and enter the hearing aid, creating that unwanted feedback loop.
High Volume Levels
High volume levels can result in feedback. The amplified sound waves may leak back to the microphone before reaching the inner ear, creating a feedback loop.
If any components of the hearing aid, like the tubing or the microphone, are loose or damaged, feedback can occur.
Quick Fixes to Curb the Whistling Noise
- Insert the Hearing Aid Deeper: Securely push the hearing aid into your ear to create a tighter seal.
- Turn Down the Volume: Reduce the volume to limit the amount of sound escaping.
- Move Away from Reflective Surfaces: Sound waves that bounce off solid objects might create a feedback loop.
Long-lasting Solutions for Hearing Aid Feedback
- Ensure Correct Insertion of the Hearing Aid: Proper insertion can prevent whistling. If unsure, seek professional assistance.
- Remove Wax from Your Ear: Ear wax can cause feedback, hence consider removing it either by yourself or with the help of a healthcare provider.
- Re-run the Feedback Setting Calibration on the Hearing Aid: Re-calibrating your hearing aids can help identify problematic frequencies and make the necessary alterations, this is done by your audiologist.
- Change the Dome in the Hearing Aid: Switching the dome can help minimize feedback. A dome that takes up more of your ear canal that has fewer holes will stop feedback.
- Use a Custom Fit Mold: If feedback persists, consider using a custom-fit mold.
- Get New Hearing Aids: Modern hearing aids come equipped with advanced technology designed to eliminate feedback. See my Recommendations.
Feedback Noise: More Than Just Whistling
Feedback isn’t confined to whistling. It can present as chirping, buzzing, humming, or even roaring. Different sounds can indicate various underlying issues with the device.