Hearing aids are necessary bits of equipment for many people, and they can really transform your life if you're hard of hearing. Like any electronic device, however, they can occasionally malfunction, which may be quite debilitating for something you rely on so heavily.
One of the most common problems with hearing aids is when they start to make a high-pitched whistling or whining sound. When this happens, it's caused by feedback in the same way that a microphone does when it's too close to a speaker — which you might have heard if you've ever watched a band's soundcheck.
Fortunately, it's usually not difficult to fix, as long as you can work out exactly what's causing it in your case.
When hearing aids are first fitted, they're moulded specifically to your ear to make sure you get a good, snug fit. You might think this will last you until the hearing aid eventually needs replacing, but this isn't always the case.
Losing or gaining weight or just natural changes in the ear as you age can cause your hearing aid to fit more loosely than it previously did. This allows sound to escape, causing feedback. Take your hearing aid to your specialist for remoulding or replacement.
Volume too high
When the volume is turned up high enough, hearing aids often produce feedback because sound escapes from inside the ear. If you find yourself needing to increase the volume to this extent, it's better to get a new, more powerful hearing aid.
Being inserted in your ear, it's no surprise that a hearing aid is going to come into contact with a certain amount of earwax. Over time, this can block either your ear, the tubes of the hearing aid, or both. If it's your ear, you might need to get it syringed by a doctor; if it's your hearing aid, you should be able to clean it out yourself.
Hearing aid incorrectly inserted
This is more common among new hearing aid users but can sometimes happen to people who've been using one for a while. When you got your hearing aid, you should have been shown how to insert it correctly. If it's not in properly, the sound leak is likely to cause feedback. Make sure you always put it in properly and, if you're getting feedback, give it a wiggle and a gentle push to check you've done it right.
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