Hear For The Holidays!!
Break the Mold and Cut Out Feedback!
By: Ryan Hill, Au.D.
“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,
the hearing aids were whistling, on grandpa’s rosy red ear,
we all hoped that the noise would soon disappear…”
Does this sound like your quiet Christmas or Holiday story? It shouldn’t! We all know that hearing technology nowadays isn’t the same as your grandpa’s old hearing aid like the one in our story, but that doesn’t mean that the latest in technology is immune to feedback. Some hearing aids and/or patients just seemed to be plagued with feedback. Feedback is caused when the sound produced by the hearing aid is reflected out of the ear and picked back up by the highly sensitive microphones which capture outside sound. But how do we combat this annoying sound? Read on and find out!
Here’s why we may get feedback in even our most advanced hearing aids along with how to fix it!
This causes sound to escape from the ear due to an improperly fit hearing aid. This can happen when a dome is too small, the dome or mold has too much venting, the mold is not fitting properly due to a poor impression, or the mold is sliding out of the ear.
The fix: Increase the size of the dome for a better seal, get a new mold with a new impression so that the mold has the right fitment in the ear, decrease the size of the vent using plugs, or add retention to the dome or mold to keep it in the ear.
Most hearing aid manufacturers have some type of feedback suppression technique that is employed when the hearing aids are first fit. However, with frequency response changes, physical fit changes, or repairs, the calibration of the suppression may be thrown off.
The fix: This one is easy, have your hearing professional re-calibrate the feedback control on the hearing aids which can be done in just a few minutes!
Proper placement of hearing aids is key, if the hearing aids are not inserted properly even the latest technology cannot overcome. This can also cause the performance of the hearing aid to fall below where is expected on top of causing the unwanted feedback.
The fix: Make sure your hearing aid is properly inserted every time. Push the hearing aid, mold, or receiver with dome as far in as it will go. Don’t worry about pushing it in too far: if the hearing aid is custom or you have a custom mold, it is fit to one place in the ear and it will not be able to be inserted further. If the hearing aid is not custom and your hearing aid uses a rubber dome or sleeve, make sure the wire attached to the hearing aid coming from the top of the ear is flush with your head. If you have difficulty see your hearing professional to help you work on better techniques for placing your hearing aid.
This holiday season let the ringing of sleigh bells be all that’s heard, not the ringing of your hearing aid! If you or a loved one is getting that annoying ringing or whistling from their hearing aids known as feedback, come see us today at The Hill Hear Better Clinic and we will help you cut out that feedback!
Call us today and be better hearing by tomorrow!