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Squealing hearing aids - in public

Walt and Gwen Wallmark wallmark at erols.com
Mon Oct 6 19:04:15 EST 1997

Steve Hoffman wrote:
>  Hearing-Aid Squeal Grows in Volume as Concert Woe
>  Melinda Bargreen
>  Seattle Times 9/7/97
>  The concert you've paid $45 to hear has just begun, and
> exquisite sounds are emerging from the Steinway on the stage.
>  Then you hear it. Eeeeeeeeeeeee. A very high-pitched sound
> that's just present enough to be heard over the quieter passages
> in the music....

>  It's another hearing aid, turned up just a little too high,
> emitting feedback that can be heard all the way across a concert
> hall - but not by the hearing aid's owner....

> What to do if you're at a concert and you realize that the
> person next to you has a noisy hearing aid? Usually, adjusting
> the hearing aids slightly will correct the squealing noise, but
> the wearer first has to know that the noise is being emitted.
>  Poulson suggests a tactful mention from those seated beside the
> wearer, at the first break in the music, that a noise may be
> coming from the hearing aid. Usually, people are happy to correct
> the situation and unlikely to take offense - though it's always
> possible that someone might be offended.
I have been that person!  I was totally unaware until recently that
sometimes my hearing aids transmit a squeal (that I can't hear becasue,
of course, I have a high freq loss in both ears) that "normal" people
can hear.  By all means, tell the wearer with a polite, "Excuse me,
but..."  He/she won't even know if you don't mention it.


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