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What is the whistling sound I sometimes hear through my hearing aid?

The squealing or whistling noise that hearing aids sometimes make is called feedback. You may have heard this type of screeching or loud tone if you have ever spoken through a microphone while standing too close to the speaker system. In a hearing device, feedback is created when the sound coming out of the hearing aid’s speaker is directed back into the microphone—and unlike a handheld mic, you cannot simply move the two further apart.

How to Fix Feedback Problems in Hearing Aids

Many high-end hearing devices are outfitted with feedback suppression systems to prevent these problems from happening. If your device is making these noises regularly, it can be helpful to identify the type of feedback to fix the problem.

In general, hearing devices can give off three different types of feedback:

  • Acoustical feedback. Acoustical feedback is generally caused by a blocked microphone or ill-fitting device. If cleaning both your ears and your device does not stop the feedback, the direction of the receiver may be off. Your hearing care provider can adjust the speaker placement of your device and ensure a snug fit.
  • Mechanical feedback. This type of feedback is caused by contact between the hearing aid’s casing and speaker, which are then transmitted back to the microphone. This problem should only be corrected by a hearing health professional, as it involves changing the placement of the speaker.
  • Electronic feedback. Electronic feedback is a result of a malfunction in the computer components of the device. The solution involves opening the case and determining the source of the problem and possible replacement of the electronics of the device, and should only be attempted by a hearing device specialist.

Our hearing care specialists can examine your device to determine the source of the feedback. If you need a new device, we can help you explore hearing aids equipped with feedback cancellation, freeing you from those annoying whistling sounds for good. Call or visit us today to have our technicians solve your hearing aid problems.