No matter the style, brand or price of your hearing aid you are bound to hear a whistling noise at some point when you have them in your ears. Sometimes the sound is a perfectly normal occurrence. Other times it is a sign that something else is wrong with your hearing aid.
The whistling noise is called Feedback. Hearing aid feedback is caused by sounds that leave your ear and find their way back into the microphone. From there, the sound is re-amplified which causes that annoying whistle. Hearing aid feedback can happen when you put your hand up to your ear, when you’re hugging someone, while you’re inserting/removing your hearing aid, or when something like the back of your chair is within 3 or 4 inches of your ear.
Many digital hearing aids come with feedback cancellers. Their job is to combat the annoying noise, but occasionally some feedback will still get through. There is very little that can be done to stop it.
When to Seek Help…
Occasional hearing aid feedback is perfectly normal and you should be able stop it by taking your device out of your ear and re-inserting it. When your hearing aid is not in your ear correctly it can allow enough room for the sounds to escape and get back to the microphone causing the feedback.
However, if you are experiencing feedback often there may be something else wrong with your hearing aid. If you hear whistling when you move your jaw to chew or talk or turn your head you should visit your hearing specialist.
Common causes of feedback include: excessive earwax buildup, cracked or broken tubing, poor fit, too much volume at certain frequencies or dislodged microphones. Hearing Instrument Specialists at Southwestern Hearing Centers can fix most of these issues in one quick visit. If you’re experiencing feedback or whistling in your hearing aid that is disrupting your everyday life be sure to call to schedule an appointment today.