Why Are You Experiencing Feedback In Your Hearing Devices?
When it comes to hearing loss, some 35 million Americans suffer from it in one form or another. Hearing devices are becoming more and more popular as companies strive to make them more high-tech and less intrusive. Occasionally, however, you may experience feedback coming from your hearing device. What causes this and what can you do about it?
What’s Up With Hearing Device Feedback?
What is feedback? Other than hearing aids, feedback actually occurs in a number of systems. There can be some degree of feedback in any system containing a microphone. A microphone senses and re-amplifies sounds picked up and generated by a receiver. Once processing takes place in the microphone, the signal is transformed into a sound wave by the receiver. This produces a feedback loop when the microphone re-senses the sound and amplifies it again. In essence, the hearing aid experiencing feedback is listening to itself and expressing its displeasure.
Why Do Hearing Aids Feedback?
A number of difficulties can be the cause for a feedback loop in a hearing aid. Most commonly, if the wearer holds the hearing aid in their hand when they turn it on, and then places it in their ear, feedback can occur. Your hearing aid begins soundwave processing the moment you push the on button. When held in your hand, the receiver produced sound bounces off your hand. This triggers feedback because it goes back into the microphone. You can eliminate this kind of feedback by placing the hearing aid in your ear before turning it on.
Another cause of feedback can be a hearing aid that fits improperly. Have you lost weight lately? You may need to get your hearing aid fitted if you have. Is your hearing aid really old? That could be another cause for a loose-fitting hearing aid. This problem might be solved by bringing your hearing aid to the retailer and getting an adjustment.
Feedback and Earwax
There can be a definite correlation between earwax and a hearing aid that isn’t working properly. Your hearing aid may not fit correctly if the outer casing has ear wax buildup on it. Feedback can be caused by the loose fit. There are ways of safely cleaning your hearing aid off. These instructions can usually be found in the user’s manual or by contacting your retailer.
Could It Be Broken?
Well, if all else has failed, the answer could be as simple as a broken hearing aid. Feedback can definitely be caused if a hearing aid is damaged or has simply stopped working correctly. Check to see if the outer casing is cracked, because this could be the problem. Whatever you discover, do not attempt a self-fix. Get your hearing aid repaired by a qualified retailer for repair service.
Make Sure It’s Feedback
What you’re hearing may not be feedback! Issues like low battery power, in some devices, can cause a warning tone. Listen carefully to identify the sound. Is it a beep or a screeching noise? Your owner’s manual, once again, should tell you if this warning feature is part of your hearing device.
Some 25 million of the 35 million Americans with hearing problems do not have a hearing aid. If you are one of the lucky ones, make sure that you completely familiarize yourself with how it works, any warranty it may carry, how to best care for it, etc. The better care you take of your hearing aid, the better care it will take of you and your hearing.