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The bad news? Hearing aids sometimes do create annoying feedback sounds. The good news? You can get rid of them very easily. No matter how stylish or upgraded your hearing aids are, you are sure to hear whistling sounds at some point while using them. While sometimes these sounds are normal, at other times it is an indication that something is wrong with your device. Even though the quality of sound you are experiencing with your hearing aid devices might be perfectly well, yet these whistling noises, known as feedback sounds might in a way affect your listening experience.

There are many updated digital hearing aids today which come with feedback reduction features. Feedback sounds occur when the sound finds its way back to the microphone from the receiver and hence it gets re-amplified, thus causing whistling sounds. It creates headache-inducing squealing or screeching sounds which are annoying like hell!

 

Causes of Feedback Sounds

  • Excessive buildup of earwax 

  • Poorly or improperly fitted hearing aid tube

  • Cracked or broken tubing

  • Dislodged microphones which distort the sounds

  • Too much higher volumes at certain frequencies

 

Types of Feedback Sounds

There are three types of feedback sounds that occur from hearing aid devices.

  • Acoustical feedback - It is caused when the amplified sound produced by the speaker of your hearing aid machine is picked up again by its microphone and in the process, it gets louder and screechier which is disturbing for the user.

  • Mechanical feedback - Even though it might be really very hard to deal with it, it is easily fixable. It is caused by vibrations that are created when the hearing aid speaker comes in contact with the device’s casing.

  • Electronic feedback - This occurs when there is some problem in the electrical circuits of the hearing aid machine.

 

How to Deal with Feedback Sounds?

  • Don’t tap the device hard, such as on the tabletop, thinking that it would stop the noises. No, it won’t. On the contrary, it might damage the internal parts of your ear machine.

  • Never try to fix it yourself just because you have mechanical knowledge unless you fix hearing aids for a living. You might not be able to diagnose and fix the problem. Take it to your Audiologist without a second thought!

  • Don't throw away your device out of frustration. Your hearing aid machine just needs a minor adjustment.

  • Switch to digital hearing aids. If you are from that old school who is unwilling to upgrade to the latest digital hearing aids, then it’s time that you must. Because you have so many reasons to do so. Not only will you have an enhanced listening experience, but the modern digital hearing aid devices also come with feedback suppression capabilities. However, if you are already a digital hearing aid user and you can still hear those disturbing sounds, then there might be some problem in your device.

  • Check the fit of your device. Try pushing your device deep inside your ear canal as far as possible to create a tighter seal. An improperly fitted hearing aid might allow the amplified sound waves to escape and find their way back to the microphone. This causes the sounds to be re-amplified for which they appear distorted. Ask your audiologist to fit your hearing aids properly, and also ensure that the ear tip of your machine is of the correct size and the right fit, and not just lie there in your ear canal loosely.

  • Check for earwax buildup. If sounds strike against a hard block of earwax, they might bounce back out of the ear, get re-amplified, thus producing annoying sounds.

It is always recommended to consult a professional audiologist to analyse the problem that is causing feedback sounds. If there is a problem with the device, he or she will make fine-tuning or adjustments. He or she might also recommend you to go for digital hearing aids having feedback suppression features.

Comments | Posted in Digital Hearing Aids Hearing Aid Devices By Phalguni Bannerjee

My Hearing Aids Got Wet! What to Do?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 7:02:56 PM Asia/Calcutta

Did you just drop your hearing aid devices in water accidentally or forgot to take them out while having a cool shower? We know that you have been very careful with your devices since the first day, but accidents do occur! What to do in such a situation? We will talk about that in this blog.

Electronics and water don’t mix, but that doesn’t mean that everything is lost. And the good news is that some modern digital hearing aids of today come with moisture-proof features that can protect your device during the sweaty summer seasons. So if you accidentally drop your hearing aids in water or forget putting it off before going to bath, don’t panic! Here are some simple steps you can do to get them in full working position again.

  1. Remove the hearing aid machine as quickly as possible from water. The lesser the watery area it has fallen into, the better are the chances of recovery.

  2. Turn it right away and remove the battery immediately. Throw the battery and never use it again.

  3. Close the battery door and remove the tube (if any) and gently dry it with a soft towel. Also, gently shake the tube of your hearing aid devices to get as much water out as possible.

  4. Use a hearing aid dryer or other drying tools provided in the hearing aid kit to remove any trapped moisture. Never use a hair dryer or a microwave oven to do so. Extreme heat is harmful for hearing aid devices.

  5. Leave the hearing aid machine to dry out completely.

  6. Put in a fresh battery and try using it.

  7. It it still doesn’t work, then send the device immediately to your service centre for repair.

So before you give up, there might still be a chance. However, make sure to be more careful with your hearing aid devices from now onwards.

This blog on care and maintenance tips for hearing aids might help: https://hearingplus.in/ourblog/How_to_Increase_the_Longevity_of_Your_Hearing_Aids

Consult your audiologist from time to time in case you notice hearing changes. He or she will adjust your digital hearing aids according to your hearing needs. For guidance with decision-making while you plan to buy hearing aids or to follow some other hearing loss treatment, get expert advice from our professional audiologists at your nearest hearing aid clinic.

9 Tips to Protect Our Hearing Health

Friday, September 13, 2019 8:11:45 PM Asia/Calcutta

While you have been worrying about how to choose the right hearing aid devices or which would be a reliable hearing aid clinic, did you know that you could have prevented this from happening? It would have been better if you turned the volume down while watching the favourite show of yours or listening to that favourite music. Yes, there are a host of reasons that might cause hearing loss, but most of the time it is due to exposure to loud noises. And surprisingly, most hearing loss problems are preventable. Prevention is always better than cure!

Why Should I Protect My Hearing?

It’s simple! You need to prevent yourself from acquiring hearing loss! Because a healthy hearing health means a healthy and happy life.

We often take our hearing for granted and never even realise that we need to take care of it! We listen to music, watch TV shows or listen to our favourite radio programme, for hours together, without almost giving a break in between. We don’t care to protect our ears while stuck in a noisy road full of honking of vehicles. We love attending rock concerts and dance to the rhythm of the playlist played by some cool DJ at a disco. The list is endless!

Among all these activities, your ears are crying for help! You might fail to realise that such habits and activities might damage thew very hearing that is enabling us to hear! So while you enjoy listening, take care that you do it responsibly and within certain limits!

Hearing loss, in most cases, it is progressive in nature and is irreversible if it is a permanent one. So let’s face the harsh truth. Once you lose your hearing, it’s gone forever! Yes, it’s true that as you start ageing, you are going to face certain loss of hearing. But the more careful and protective you are about your hearing health, the more would be the years you are going to enjoy with a healthy hearing.

 

What Causes Hearing Loss?

Most of us are sure to experience hearing loss at some point in our lifetime because it is almost inevident as we start ageing. But delaying the age of onset is in our hands, and we can prevent it till as long as possible. While some causes are not in our hands, but the major cause is preventable - that being exposed to very loud noises.

 

What occurs in your ears that leads to hearing loss?

Now, coming to the main scenario that causes you to suffer from a hearing impairment, let’s understand a bit of hearing mechanism first. The inner ear has a spiral-shaped cochlea which receives sound waves from the middle ear, after getting amplified by the ear ossicles. Our cochlea consists of thousands of tiny hair-like sensitive structure called hair cells. After receiving these sound waves, the hair cells in the cochlea convert them into electrical impulses and send them to our brain via the auditory nerve. It is at this point when sound is perceived by us.

This is why it is necessary to go for an early hearing diagnosis than regretting later! So before it’s too late, here are nine easy tips for you to protect that vital organ of yours!

 

9 Ways You Can Protect Your Precious Ears!

  • Use earplugs or earmuffs while you are around some loud noises. Always make it a point to carry a pair in your bags wherever you travel. According to studies, noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL is the most popular cause of permanent hearing loss across the world.

  • Turn the volume down. While listening to music, make sure that you don’t put the volume too high. Also, lessen the duration of listening at a stretch. Many audiologists suggest following the 60-60 rule while listening to your favourite music - which states that the ideal and safe volume should not be more than 60%, having a duration of not more than 60 minutes.

  • Take listening breaks. It is always recommended that one should not listen to anything for hours together. You must always take listening breaks in between. This will give time for your ears to recover, especially if you are at a loud listening situation like rock concerts or a disco. If possible, step outside for 5-10 minutes after every half an hour or so and give your ears the required time to rest.

  • Take medications only as directed. There are certain ototoxic medications which are harmful to your hearing health. So always refer a doctor before taking any.

  • Stop using cotton swabs or sharp tools to clean your ears. Firstly because your earwax has a lot of beneficial qualities like keeping away dirt and infection germs, and secondly because these might hurt or injure the internal delicate parts of your ears.

  • Keep your ears dry. Make sure you wipe your ears dry with a soft cloth or better still you can block water from entering the ear canal with the help of custom-fit swimmers’ earplugs after bathing or swimming. Excess moisture can be harmful to your ears as it attracts bacteria which might attack your ear canal and cause infections.

  • Exercise properly. Do you know exercise is good for your ears as well? Activities like walking, cycling, running or jogging improve blood circulation in your ears, thus keeping them healthy and properly functional. However, while you are cycling or riding a motorbike, make sure to wear a helmet, so that if you fall you can protect your head, along with your ears.

  • Manage stress levels. Too much stress and anxiety are often linked to permanent or temporary tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Stress creates pressure on your nerves and blood vessels, thus affecting blood circulation in your body parts - including your ears.

  • Regular hearing check-ups are a must! Even if you might feel that you are hearing fine, you might never know. It’s always better to be sure. Get your hearing tested from time to time by consulting a professional and certified audiologist at your nearest hearing aid clinic.

A hearing loss treatment or the act of wearing hearing aid devices is not as easy as you might think. They will definitely help you out, especially if you buy the latest digital hearing aids. But they can do nothing other than making the most out of your residual hearing abilities. Once your hearing is gone, it won’t come back again! So protect it while you can! Isn’t it better to prevent it than buying hearing aid devices?

Stay healthy and be a responsible family member!

I Can Hear, But I Cannot Understand!

Sunday, September 8, 2019 11:22:50 PM Asia/Calcutta

Do you know what is the most received complaint from people who have recently started facing hearing difficulties? It’s ‘I can hear, but I cannot understand!’ or ‘the words appear blurry and unclear’, or ‘why don’t you speak clearly and stop mumbling?’, and the like. If this is the case with you, then yes it’s most likely that you have hearing loss. Or if you have faced any of your loved ones coming up with statements like this, try to help them out. You (or your loved one) need to treat this condition at the earliest - because most of the times, hearing loss is progressive in nature. Hearing loss treatment is not a big deal nowadays, with such advanced technological innovations in the field of audiology.

Our Hearing Mechanism

This brings us to the question of how the hearing procedure works and what are the steps involved in it.

Our hearing is a complex process which is not limited to the functioning of the ears itself but involves the brain as well. It is our brain that is responsible for the actual part of hearing. If your brain fails to work properly, you won’t be able to understand or decode the meaning of the sound you are hearing. And this is why some people with untreated hearing loss complain that even though they could hear, they find it difficult to understand the meaning of it, and this is most evident in speech understanding such as during conversations.

While it is the job of the brain to translate the sounds as they receive into meaningful words, our ears are responsible for amplifying and delivering the sounds to the brain after converting them into meaningful signals which can be decoded easily by our brain.

To know more about how the hearing mechanism of human beings and other mammals works, consider going through this blog: https://hearingplus.in/ourblog/How-Do-We-Hear-An-Insight-into-Our-Hearing-Mechanism/

 

Hearing vs. Understanding

The first thing that you must do is getting a hearing test done. In a hearing diagnostic test, your results would be plotted on an audiogram. If you are diagnosed with a high-frequency hearing loss, you would find it difficult to hear the high-pitched sounds. While on the other hand, you might have a completely normal hearing ability in the low-frequency range and can hear low-pitched sounds quite perfectly. In speech, the high-pitched sounds include the consonant sounds like S, F, Th, Sh, V, K, P, while the vowels A, E, I, O and U are low in pitch. Studies show that most of the people with hearing impairment experience a high-frequency hearing loss. This explains why some people with hearing loss find it difficult to get hold of the meaning even though they can hear the sounds.

 

Signs of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Check out for these signs that are common with people suffering from high-frequency hearing loss.

  • Difficulty following and understanding conversations both in quiet and in noisy listening situations

  • Difficulty talking over the phone

  • Trouble understanding TV or radio shows even after turning the volume up

  • You no longer find listening to music soothing or pleasurable as they seem distorted, especially at higher volumes

  • Trouble understanding the voices of women and children because they are usually high-pitched in nature

  • Friends, family members or colleagues often get frustrated and feel you aren’t listening to them

  • This leads to misunderstandings in your personal relationships

  • You feel tired and exhausted from listening

So the next time your spouse accuses you of having a ‘selective hearing’ you must not delay on getting a proper hearing loss treatment, because it’s high time that you should! An untreated hearing loss would bring along more health issues including both physical and psychological.

Talk to your audiologist today and get the right hearing aid machine. The digital hearing aids of today not only help you get rid of all these difficult situations but would also make your life a healthy one, making this world a happy place to live in.

How Do We Hear? An Insight into Our Hearing Mechanism!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 1:48:58 PM Asia/Calcutta

Human beings can be an active part of this world only with the help of the five senses - namely sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. If one of the senses breaks down, an individual faces great changes with difficult challenges coming on the way.

 

Hearing Loss and Its Causes

Partial or total inability to hear is termed as hearing loss. Various causes like ear infections, malformations in the internal ear structure, overexposure to loud noises, infections or other health conditions, genetic issues and even leading an unhealthy lifestyle might lead to hearing impairment. However, there is always a way out. There are many hearing loss treatment options like advanced and smart digital hearing aids and cochlear implants which are designed to make your life better.

To know more about how a hearing aid machine works, this blog might be helpful: Understanding Your Hearing Aid Machine.

 

Parts of the Human Ear

The human ear comprises three main parts, namely the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear.

  • The outer ear - It consists of the pinna or the auricle and the auditory canal. The tympanic membrane or the eardrum divides the outer ear from the middle ear.

  • The middle ear - The middle ear of mammals consists of three small ear bones, namely malleus, incus, and stapes (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) - together known as the ossicles. The ossicles provide further energy and impetus required to transfer the sound signals from the eardrum to the oval window of the cochlea. The eustachian tube is another part of the middle ear. It connects the middle ear with the back of the nose and helps to equalise the pressure in the middle ear, thus helping in the proper transfer of the sound waves.

  • The inner ear - The inner ear consists of the most important organ responsible for hearing - the spiral-shaped cochlea. Apart from the cochlea, the inner ear also comprises the vestibule and the semicircular canals which are responsible for body balance.

 

How Do We Hear?

The human hearing mechanism is quite a complex one. There are a series of steps involved in between the receipt of the sound waves by the outer ear to our actual act of ‘hearing’ it. Let’s have a brief look at them -

  • The outer ear receives the sound waves which travel down the auditory canal and strike the eardrum.

  • This causes the eardrum or the tympanic membrane to vibrate.

  • These vibrations are then passed over to the ossicles or the three tiny ear bones.

  • The ossicles amplify the sounds and transfer them to the inner ear.

  • The fluid-filled hearing organ - the cochlea receives these sounds and processes and converts them into electrical impulses.

  • These converted sound signals are then transferred to the brain via the auditory nerve.

  • The brain on receiving them translates them as sounds which are then perceived by us. This is the moment when we can actually ‘hear’.

However, apart from hearing, the vestibular system situated in our inner ear is also responsible for body balance and equilibrium. This is why hearing loss is often associated with vertigo and balance problems.

Our ear is, therefore, an important organ of our body. Damage caused to it would bring about many health conditions.

Consult a certified audiologist to get your hearing test done from time to time, to avoid any complications. An untreated hearing loss might have a great impact on one’s life. Treat any hearing problem on time and never delay in getting proper treatment of hearing loss.

If you want to learn more about hearing loss and the various hearing loss treatment options available, this article might help: Hearing Loss Treatment Center.

Discuss with your audiologist and learn about the different hearing aids types and the hearing aid price list before you buy hearing aids. Consider going through this article: https://hearingplus.in/cheapest-hearing-aids-india/

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