Do Hearing Aids Make Hearing Loss Worse?
A common concern among people experiencing hearing loss is whether wearing hearing aids will actually increase the level of hearing loss. This may be partially based on the notion that louder sounds can contribute to loss of hearing. However, that is certainly not the case when it comes to hearing aids. You will be able to hear some sounds more clearly and audibly but that has no ill effects on the physical health of the ear. In most cases, it all about the way the effects are perceived.
It’s a Matter of Perception
After being fitted with new hearing aids, people often come back after a few weeks and complain of reduced hearing capacity when not wearing their hearing aids. This is not due to hearing aids having a detrimental impact on hearing. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Hearing aids have actually been proven to sharpen hearing abilities over time, and impede the progression of hearing loss.
Because the majority of individuals wait so long to get help with hearing, 7 years plus on average, the brain accommodates this loss in order to adapt to daily living. As this occurs hearing gradually deteriorates, but because it happens so slowly people are generally not able to perceive the decline. “Normal hearing” becomes a floating bar as the brain adjusts and adapts.
Adjusting to New Hearing Aids
New hearing aid users will go through an adjustment period while getting used to the new device. The range of sounds and the level of clarity of which they are being presented may be a little shocking at first. After years of a continual reduction in hearing capacity, the brain is now acclimatizing to all the sounds that have been missed without the help of hearing aids. This creates the need for a new process as the brain establishes a “new normal” level of hearing.
Hearing Loss Misconception
It is no surprise that after wearing hearing aids for a few weeks that it may seem like your hearing capacity without the device has declined. That dull and quiet world you were living in before the assistance of hearing aids now seems so foreign. Now that the brain has been reintroduced to such a range of clear and audible sounds it is hard to imagine that your hearing abilities were actually that bad before.
Getting the Right Hearing Aids That Fit
With such a wide variety of hearing aids to choose from, it is critical to get the right device for your ears and to get hearing aids properly fitted. New hearing aid wearers are often concerned with the device causing damage to the ear drum. The worry is that these new amplified sounds will cause physical damage to the ear the way loud sounds and noises in the environment can.
Improperly fitted or incorrectly programmed hearing aids can sometimes end up doing more harm than good. That is why it is crucial to consult a hearing professional for advice and assessment to get the right device for you.
Well-fitting and correctly programmed hearing aids can make a world of difference to your hearing ability and the numerous incredible daily life benefits that come with it.