How to Cope with Hearing Aid Feedback - Attune
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How to Cope with Hearing Aid Feedback

Do you have hearing loss but are dreading getting hearing aids because of the common hearing aid feedback problem? 

If this is the reason you have been putting off hearing aids, you don’t have to worry anymore! 

As technology advances, so do our solutions to fighting hearing aid feedback and avoiding it altogether. 

This article will discuss what hearing aid feedback is, how to prevent it, and how to stop it. 

What is Hearing Aid Feedback? 

Have you ever been trying to talk to a relative who had a hearing aid in and couldn’t hear a word they were saying because of the whistling sound coming from their hearing aid? That’s what we call hearing aid feedback.

Hearing aid feedback is defined as the unpleasant high-pitched screech, loud buzz, hiss or whistle a hearing aid makes when in use. 

There are three mechanisms by which hearing aid feedback occurs

  • Acoustical
  • Mechanical
  • Electronic 

Acoustical feedback

Acoustical feedback is quite simple and can be explained in three steps.

  1. Sound is emitted from the hearing aid speaker into the ear.
  2. That sound leaks out of the ear and finds its way to the hearing aid’s microphone.
  3. That sound is then picked up by the microphone and re-amplified, which creates an unpleasant noise. 

Mechanical feedback 

Mechanical feedback occurs due to the creation of physical vibrations from contact between the hearing aid speaker and casing and can also be explained in three steps. 

  1. Sound is emitted from the hearing aid’s speaker to the ear. 
  2. The speaker’s vibration is transmitted to the microphone through the tubing of a behind-the-ear hearing aid or the shell and faceplate of a custom in-the-ear hearing aid. 
  3. That vibration is then picked up by the microphone and is re-amplified, causing a feedback loop. 

Electronic feedback 

This type of feedback is caused by a malfunctioning hearing aid and requires a hearing aid expert to oversee and fix the issue. 

The malfunction is often a result of damage to the device’s complex circuitry processes. 

Electronic feedback

How to Prevent Hearing Aid Feedback 

Choose an appropriate brand for your hearing loss 

There is a wide variety of hearing aid manufacturers around the world promising feedback cancellers that will remove hearing aid feedback altogether. 

Feedback cancellers can work in various ways; the most common is for the feedback canceller to identify and mimic the feedback signal and subtract it from the input, resulting in no audible feedback from the speaker of the hearing aid. 

However, not all feedback cancellers perform to the same standard or use the same mechanisms when eliminating feedback. Therefore, seeking the opinion of a hearing aid specialist regarding the best hearing aid feedback management is crucial. 

Choose an appropriate hearing aid style and power for your hearing loss

How to know if you’re picking the right hearing aid for your degree of hearing loss? Work with your nearest Attune audiologist to ensure the hearing aid shape and size is suitable for your ear shape to reduce the chances of leakage of sound eliciting feedback loop.

Feedback is usually more common for individuals with more severe hearing loss due to the increase in sound output from the speaker to provide enough gain to match their hearing loss. 

To reduce feedback susceptibility, tight-fitting ear moulds or domes (where appropriate) are necessary to provide adequate gain without causing feedback.

Stop Hearing Aid Feedback

How to Stop Hearing Aid Feedback 

Is your ear blocked with wax?

Hearing aids work by transmitting sound into your ear canal, and if you have wax built-up in your ear canal, the sound being transmitted will bounce back into the hearing aid. 

Not only can a build-up of wax cause hearing aid feedback, but it can cause damage to your hearing aid and earaches. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your ears are wax-free whenever you wear your hearing aid.

Having a blocked ear can cause a lot of discomfort and be a health risk. Here are five reasons your ears could be blocked and how to unblock them.

Is your hearing aid inserted correctly? 

When your hearing aid isn’t inserted correctly, feedback issues often arise. All you have to do is reinsert the hearing aid accurately and ensure the receiver is further into your ear canal if you have a behind-the-ear hearing aid. Loosely fitted hearing aids are more likely to cause feedback. 

Is your ear mould broken? 

Ear moulds, tubes and receivers deteriorate over time and need to be replaced. If you look at your ear mould and find that it has bent or is broken, it will result in feedback. Just as our nose grows over time, our ears change over time. 

This could mean that a once perfectly fitting mould/custom piece might now be causing unpleasant hearing aid feedback due to it being loose, bent or broken. Booking an appointment with your hearing professional will eliminate this issue by creating new impressions for ear moulds to fit your changed ear shape. 

Is the volume on your hearing aid too high?

Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, the volume of your hearing aid will vary. However, if your hearing aids are set to a high volume, hearing aid feedback is higher as the sound is more likely to be picked up again by the microphone and re-amplified. 

To Sum It Up 

If you have read all of the points above and none of them are causing your hearing aid feedback, then you need to book an appointment at your nearest Attune Hearing clinic as the problem could be an internal hearing aid issue. 

However, don’t let the possibility of hearing aid feedback stop you from buying them to manage your hearing loss and enjoy an improved quality of life. Contact us on 1200 736 702 today to discuss the different types of hearing aids to discover the best one for your ear shape and hearing loss degree. 

Start your journey towards better hearing health with Attune Hearing!

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