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Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031
Hearing & Balance Doctors is currently open. We are taking special measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including offering a curbside service for hearing aids. Please call 435-688-8991 for more information. Utah: 435-688-8991 | Nevada: 702-896-0031

Ask the Audiologist: What Causes Hearing Aid Feedback

Ask the Audiologist: What Causes Hearing Aid Feedback
Hearing aids are excellent devices that allow you to connect with the rest of the world of sound around you. There have been many improvements made to hearing aids; however, that doesn’t mean that they are perfect.

A common issue that hearing aid users run into is hearing aid feedback. This feedback can cause your hearing aids to squeal, screech, or whistle—though not all at the same time. Generally, hearing aid feedback is caused by hearing aids that are not properly fitted, though there can be other reasons.

As hearing aid feedback is a common problem, our doctors of audiology want to provide further insight into hearing aid feedback.

Common Hearing Aid Feedback Questions

When it comes to hearing aid feedback questions, our Southern Utah audiologists regularly get the same questions. Below are the answers to a few of the most common questions our audiologists hear with the solution to the problem.

What makes a hearing aid squeal?

If your hearing aids are squealing, the most likely issue is that the seal between your hearing aids and your ear is not perfect. When there are small gaps between your ear and your hearing aid, the air that passes through can trigger a squealing sound from your hearing aids.

The simplest fix for this problem is to take out your hearing aids and re-insert them. It may take a couple of tries to position your hearing aids, but it will stop the squealing.

Why is my hearing aid screeching?

No one wants their hearing aids to whistle or screech in their ears, so if your hearing aids have been doing these things, it is likely an issue with the tubes or earmold. Hearing aid tubes—which come with Behind-The-Ear (BTE) and Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) hearing aids—can become damaged with use and age. If the tube becomes cracked or damaged in some way, that can create the screeching feedback you hear.

As for earmolds, which are only found on some BTE style hearing aids, they can also deteriorate over time. Also, there is the potential that your ear shape has changed, which will make your earmold fit imperfectly. No matter which issue you encounter, our audiologists can correct the problem if you bring in your hearing aids.

How do I stop hearing aid feedback?

Permanently stopping hearing aid feedback likely isn’t possible, as the feedback sounds—whistling, screeching, squealing, etc.—help indicate that you need to fix something.

However, with hearing aid adjustments by our audiologists as well as regular care on your end, you can keep your hearing aids fairly feedback-free.

Other Reasons Behind Hearing Aid Feedback

Along with the common questions for hearing aid feedback, there are other reasons why your hearing aids may be acting up.

Obstruction – As hearing aids are worn in or on your ears, it is easy for earwax, dust, moisture, and other debris to enter the tiny openings in your hearing aids. If obstructions do occur, your hearing aids may whistle or screech.

Wiping your hearing aids down nightly can help keep your devices clean and blockage-free, especially if you do keep up with your hearing aids other maintenance needs.

Earwax buildup – If earwax builds up in your ears, it can cause feedback when you try to use your hearing aids. In many cases, our audiologists can recommend over-the-counter earwax softener that you can use at home to clear your ears of wax. However, if the earwax is particularly built up, we can remove your earwax in our hearing clinic.

Volume changes – When you adjust the volume on your hearing aids from a lower setting to a higher volume, that can cause your hearing aids to squeal. You can always take your hearing aids out then re-insert them, or you can lower the volume again before slowly adjusting the volume back up.

Low batteries – Feedback isn’t usually caused by low batteries, but if you hear a persistent beeping sound, it is likely your hearing aid alerting you that your battery power is low.

Damage – There are many small parts on your hearing aids, and if one of them becomes damaged, it can cause your hearing aids to produce feedback. Luckily, you can always bring your hearing aids into our hearing clinic for repairs.

Bring Hearing Aids Into Hearing & Balance Doctors For Repairs

At Hearing & Balance Doctors, we can perform many different repairs on your hearing aids in our office. If you need warrantied major repairs, we can also set that up and send your hearing aids to the manufacturer. We can even loan you a set of hearing aids so that you aren’t without your hearing while your hearing aids are repaired.

To schedule a hearing aid repairs or other hearing and balance services appointments with our doctors of audiology, please contact us. We look forward to helping you enjoy the best hearing possible.

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