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

Are you beginning to hear a high pitch noise coming from your hearing aids? The widespread problem of feedback in your hearing aids can most likely be corrected. That annoying high pitched sound can be better understood by learning how your hearing aids operate. But exactly what can be done?

What Exactly Are The Functions of Your Hearing Aids?

Hearing aids, at their core, are actually just a microphone and a speaker. The speaker plays back the sound in your ear that the microphone picks up. But there are complex functions in between the time that the microphone picks up the sound and when the speaker plays it back.

The sound is transformed to an analog electrical signal to be processed after entering the microphone. A cutting edge digital processing microchip then turns the analog signal to digital. Once the signal is converted to digital, the various features and settings of the hearing aids activate to intensify and clean up the sound.

The signal is sent to a receiver after being changed back to analog by the processor. Now, what was once a sound becomes an analog electrical signal and that’s not something you can hear. The receiver converts it back into sound waves and transmits them through your ear canal. Elements in the cochlea convert it back into an electrical signal that the brain can understand.

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

Feedback Loops And How They Happen

Feedback happens in other sound systems besides hearing aids. If the sound system uses a microphone, it is likely that there is some feedback. The receiver produces sound which the microphone then picks up and re-amplifies. After coming into the microphone and being processed, the receiver then converts the signal back into a sound wave. A feedback loop is then produced when the microphone picks up the sound again and re-amplifies it. Put simply, the hearing aid is listening to itself and doesn’t like it.

What Causes Hearing Aid Feedback?

A feedback loop might be created by several issues. If you turn on your hearing aid while it’s still in your hand prior to putting it in, you will get a very common cause. As soon as you press the on button, your hearing aid starts to process sound. The sound being produced by the receiver bounces off your hand and then back into the microphone creating the feedback. Before you decide to switch your hearing aid on put it inside of your ear and you will eliminate this source of feedback.

Feedback is sometimes caused when your hearing aid doesn’t fit properly. Loose fittings tend to be a problem with older hearing aids or if you’ve lost some weight since having them fitted. In that case, you should go back to the retailer and have the piece re-adjusted to fit your ear properly again.

Earwax And Feedback

When it comes to hearing aids, earwax is not a friend. Earwax buildup on the casing of the hearing aid stops it from fitting right. 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 learn how to safely clean this earwax off.

Maybe It’s Simply Broken

This is your next thing to consider when you’ve attempted everything else. A broken hearing aid will certainly cause feedback. As an example, the outer casing may be cracked. You should never try to fix this at home. Make an appointment with a hearing aid expert to get a repair.

Occasionally What Sounds Like Feedback is Actually Something Else Altogether

You could be hearing something that you think sounds like feedback but it’s actually not. Many hearing aids use sound to warn you of imminent problems like a low battery. The sound should be carefully listened to. Is it actually a whistling noise or does it sound more like a beep? Consult the users-manual to find out if your device includes this feature and what other warnings you should pay attention to in the future.

Feedback doesn’t discriminate by brand or style. Usually, the actual cause of the feedback is very clear no matter what brand you own.