How to Cope with Hearing Aid Feedback
Have you recently found out that you have hearing loss but don’t want to use hearing aids because you’ve heard others complain about the terrible feedback?
Sometimes, when you have a hearing aid in, you can hear a squeal, whistle or loud buzz, also known as hearing aid feedback. Have your hearing aid-wearing friends told you about this dreaded problem that has convinced you not to wear hearing aids?
Well, we’re here to convince you to wear hearing aids. Every year, hearing aid technology advances and so do our solutions for fighting hearing aid feedback. Continue reading to find out what hearing aid feedback is and how to prevent it.
What is Hearing Aid Feedback?
Hearing aid feedback can be defined as a high-pitched squeal, whistle or buzzing sound a hearing aid makes while in use. There are three mechanisms in which hearing aid feedback occurs, including:
Acoustic feedback is one of the more simple ways in which feedback can happen and follows the following steps:
- Sound is transferred from the hearing aid speaker into the ear.
- The sound leaks out of the ear and finds its way to the hearing aid’s microphone.
- The sound is then picked up by the microphone and re-amplified, resulting in the unpleasant high-pitched sound.
Mechanical feedback occurs when there is contact between the hearing aid speaker and the hearing aid casing, resulting in physical vibrations. Much like acoustical feedback, mechanical feedback can be explained in the following steps:
- Sound is released from the hearing aid speaker into the ear.
- However, the speaker’s vibration is transmitted to the microphone through the tubing, the shell or the faceplate of a custom hearing aid.
- The microphone then picks up the vibration and re-amplifies, causing a feedback loop.
Electronic feedback is the result of a hearing aid that’s malfunctioning. The malfunction is often caused by damage to the hearing aid’s complex circuitry process.
Now that you know what hearing aid feedback is and the different types, it’s time to learn how to prevent it.
How to Prevent Hearing Aid Feedback
While there are many ways to prevent hearing aid feedback, we have our top two pointers listed below.
Choose the right brand
There are many hearing aid manufacturers worldwide, so it’s not a surprise that many of them also offer feedback reduction mechanisms, also known as feedback cancellers.
These feedback cancellers can work in a variety of ways. However, the most common is for the device to identify and mimic the feedback signal, subtracting it from the input, resulting in no audible feedback.
Although you may find a range of feedback cancellers on the internet, not all perform in the same way. So, the best way to choose the right one for you is to talk to one of our friendly audiologists at Attune.
Choose the right style
Choosing the right style and power of hearing aid is one of the best ways to prevent hearing aid feedback.
If you aren’t sure which hearing aid is right for you, the audiologists at Attune are here to help you. They will help you find the right hearing aid that will reduce the chances of sound leakage resulting in feedback.
When Experiencing Hearing Aid Feedback
Hearing aid feedback is more common than you may think. So, here are a few points to consider when you experience hearing aid feedback:
Are your ears blocked?
Hearing aids work by emitting sound into your ear canal. However, if you have a build-up of earwax in your ear canal, the sound will revert into the hearing aid.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure your ears are free of wax where possible and inspect the hearing aid for any wax causing feedback.
Is the hearing aid in properly?
More often than not, when your hearing aid isn’t inserted correctly, it can result in feedback.
An easy solution to this is by accurately reinserting the hearing aid into your ear.
Is the earmold broken?
Just like we get our cars serviced, we also have to service our hearing aids regularly.
Earmolds, tubes and receivers tend to deteriorate over time; thus, they need to be replaced. If you look at your hearing aid tubes and notice they are shrivelled, bent, have changed colour or are split, it can result in hearing aid feedback.
As you age, your nose and ears are the only things that continue to grow and change. So, if your earmold or tubing no longer fits your ear, it’s time to go back to the audiologist and get them re-moulded.
Is the hearing aid volume too loud?
Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, the volume on your hearing aid will also vary. However, the higher the volume on your hearing aid, the higher the chance of hearing aid feedback.
If you are experiencing hearing aid feedback, take your hearing aids to your nearest audiologist for them to provide a solution.
If you have tried all of the tips mentioned above and nothing is working to stop your hearing aid feedback, then it’s time to see your nearest Attune audiologist, as it could be an internal hearing aid problem.
If you have recently found out you have hearing loss, don’t let the thought of hearing aid feedback stop you from wearing them and hearing the world again! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at Attune.