Q. My mother’s 4-year old right hearing aid began squealing slightly three months ago. Now it squeals all the time. Can it be fixed?
A. Believe it or not, your mother’s hearing aid may not be the culprit. Instead, her right ear canal might need to be cleaned.
You described a scenario that occurs when an ear canal slowly builds up a blockage. The blockage causes sound from the hearing aid to bounce back out of the ear where it gets re-amplified by the hearing aid. When that happens, a squealing sound occurs. This type of audio distortion is commonly referred to as ‘feedback’.
Since the feedback began as a slight squeal and became worse, my guess is that a blockage in your mother’s right ear has become more substantial. It now causes more volume from the hearing aid to bounce back out of the canal.
Contact your hearing center to inspect your mother’s ears and her hearing aids. If your mother’s right ear needs to be cleaned, they might be able to clear the blockage and stop the squealing. If they do not perform ear cleaning, call my office. We conduct ear cleanings as well as hearing tests, plus hearing aid fittings and service.
Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin for a thorough, well explained ear and hearing exam. You can listen to hearing aids at your appointment. We then provide 4-week hearing aid trials with follow-up appointments so you can fully try out hearing aids before you make a final purchase.
Saleem Assaf (BA – Rice, MBA – UT) is a native Dallas, Texan and a recipient of KVUE’s 2020 award for 5 Who Care and the Texas Hearing Aid Association’s 2018 Dispenser of the Year award. Outside his practice, Saleem volunteers for hearing healthcare in Austin and abroad. Since 2008, he has provided $178,000 in hearing aids to students at the Texas School for the Deaf.