Why do Hearing Aids Whistle?


The whistle that hearing aids make is called acoustic feedback. Acoustic feedback occurs as the result of sound leaking from the receiver and re-entering the hearing instrument through the microphone. When the sound is amplified for the second time, a whistle or squeal is produced.


Feedback can be very annoying, embarrassing, and in some cases can even prevent a hearing aid user from wearing the instrument. Newer hearing aids use a technology called “adaptive feedback cancellation” to detect the acoustic feedback and squelch it before it is even audible to listeners; thus, virtually eliminating this complaint.


Occasionally, however, feedback occurs as the result of an ill-fitting hearing instrument and/or wax build up in the ears. During these circumstances, a visit to your hearing healthcare specialist is most appropriate.


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