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Harford County Aegis “Ask A Doctor” – My mother is visiting for the holidays, and her hearing aid won’t stop squealing. It doesn’t bother her much, but it’s driving everyone else crazy. Is this normal?

Harford County Aegis “Ask A Doctor” – My mother is visiting for the holidays, and her hearing aid won’t stop squealing. It doesn’t bother her much, but it’s driving everyone else crazy. Is this normal?
December 23, 2010 Emily

Q: My mother is visiting for the holidays, and her hearing aid won’t stop squealing.  It doesn’t bother her much, but it’s driving everyone else crazy.  Is this normal?

A: The notorious squealing sound a hearing aid makes is called feedback.  It’s caused by amplified sound coming out of the speaker, going back into the microphone, coming out of the speaker, going back into the microphone. . . indefinitely.  It’s the same squealing sound you hear when someone speaking through a microphone steps in front of a speaker – just on a miniature scale.  A properly programmed hearing aid shouldn’t squeal unless you cup your hand over it.  It’s either a poor fit, inappropriate programming, or she’s accumulated some earwax.  It’s definitely not something you should have to put up with. A qualified audiologist should be able to “squelch the squeal” for you.

Answered by Dr. Matt Perry, Au.D. – audiologist and owner of Harmony Hearing & Audiology, located in Festival at Bel Air, 5 Bel Air S Pkwy, Ste. 1411, Bel Air, MD 21015 – (410)569-5999