hearing aids and an otoscope on top of hearing charts

Many of us have heard a sudden whistling sound from a hearing aid. This whistle can be annoying to both the hearing aid wearer and to others around them. What is this noise, and why does it happen?

The sudden whistling sound from a hearing aid is called feedback. It is similar to when a person talking into a microphone gets too close to a speaker. In the case of a hearing aid, amplified sound from inside the ear is leaking out and getting re-amplified.

When is feedback beneficial?

Some hearing aid users cup their hands over their ears to produce feedback, to verify their hearing aids are working. In this situation, a whistling sound is a good thing.

When is feedback a problem?

If you are experiencing unwanted feedback, there are multiple potential causes. A build-up of wax inside the ear, improper hearing aid fit, and a malfunctioning hearing aid can all cause an annoying whistle sound.

Luckily, we have solutions for all these concerns. If worn and maintained properly, hearing aids will not whistle out of the blue.

If you have been reluctant to try hearing aids because of these concerns, rest assured that today’s technology is much better at managing feedback than in years past. Our Doctors of Audiology will find the source of your hearing aid feedback and solve it, to make your hearing aid experience a more positive one.