Is that a teakettle or is that just your hearing aids? A very common issue with hearing aids which can most likely be corrected is feedback. If you really want to come one step closer to knowing why you keep hearing that high pitch whistling noise, you should try to learn how your hearing aids operate. So what can you do about it?
What Exactly Are The Functions of Your Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids, at their core, are actually simply a microphone and a speaker. After 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 sophisticated functions that occur.
In order for the sound to be processed, it needs first to be turned into an electrical analog signal. An advanced transformation from analog to digital is then done by a signal processing microchip. The sound is cleaned up after becoming digital by the device’s properties and controls.
The signal is sent to a receiver after being modified back to analog by the processor. At this point, what was once a sound becomes an analog signal and that isn’t something your ears can hear. The sound waves, which the receiver changes the signal back into, are then transmitted through your ears. Elements in the cochlea convert it back into an electrical signal that the brain can understand.
Incredibly all of this complicated functionality takes place in a nanosecond. Despite all of this sophisticated technology, the device still has feedback.
How do Feedback Loops Occur?
Feedback happens in other sound systems besides hearing aids. Sound systems that include microphones typically have some amount of feedback. The receiver puts out sound which the microphone then picks up and re-amplifies. The sound wave enters the microphone, then goes through the signal processing and after that the receiver turns it back into a sound wave. A feedback loop is then created after the microphone picks up the sound again and re-amplifies it. The hearing aid 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 caused by several issues. One of the most common causes is turning the hearing aid on in your hand and then putting it in your ear. Right when you push the on button, your hearing aid starts to process sound waves. This feedback is caused when the sound coming out of the receiver bounces off of your hand and back into the microphone. Before you switch your hearing aid on put it inside of your ear and you will eliminate this source of feedback.
Occasionally hearing aids don’t fit as well as they should and that leads to feedback. If you have lost weight since you last had your hearing aids fitted, or if your hearing aids a bit older, you may have a loose fit. Getting it adjusted by the retailer is the only good remedy to this one.
Feedback And Earwax
Earwax isn’t a friend of hearing aids. Earwax accumulation on the casing of the hearing aid stops it from fitting right. When that occurs, the device becomes loose again and produces feedback. Look in the manual that came with your hearing aids or else contact the retailer to find out how to clean earwax off safely.
Maybe It’s Simply Broke
This is your next thing to start thinking about when you’ve attempted everything else. Feedback will certainly be caused by a broken or damaged hearing aid. The casing may have a crack in it somewhere, for example. It’s unwise to try to fix it on your own. Instead, take it in for professional repair.
When is Feedback Not Actually Feedback
You might possibly be hearing something that you think sounds like feedback but it’s actually not. There are a few other things that can go wrong with your hearing aids, like a low battery, which can give a warning sound. Pay attention to the sound. Is it actually a screeching noise or does it sound more like a beep? Check the manual to see if your device has this feature and what other warnings you should pay attention to in the future.
Feedback doesn’t discriminate by brand or style. Typically, the actual cause of the feedback is very clear no matter what brand you have.