I was previously told that hearing aids won’t help people with “nerve loss. ” Is this true?
Absolutely not. When hearing aids were first developed, it was difficult to fit people with sensori-neural hearing loss (nerve deafness). However, with today’s vastly improved technology, almost all people who successfully wear hearing aids have a sensori-neural hearing loss.
What questions should I ask before buying hearing aids?
There are many questions to ask before buying hearing aids. The first two questions are: Do I have permanent hearing loss? And — Who should I see about this?
Some people have hearing problems caused by ear wax, which can be removed by the professional. Sometimes middle ear infections cause a temporary hearing problem which can be eliminated after medical treatment. Sometimes auditory processing disorders cause hearing problems. If any of these situations (or others) are present, your audiologist will be able to recognize and diagnose the problem and will manage or refer you to best handle these situations! Before purchasing hearing aids, a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation should be obtained by an audiologist from a AudigyCertified practice.
Will the testing show if I need a hearing aid?
After the testing, the Audiologist will discuss the effects of your loss for general communication and for communication with competing speech or noise. The communication difficulty will depend on your lifestyle, occupation, and your desire to improve your communication abilities. A hearing aid may simply relieve the stress and strain of listening or may improve word recognition by making speech sounds louder. Individuals need to make an honest evaluation whether their hearing loss is becoming a burden to others, even if they feel they “can hear when I want to”. The decision to wear hearing aids is a personal one, and to be successful with amplification, one needs to make a commitment to use them consistently.
Can a hearing aid restore my hearing back to normal?
No. No hearing aid, whether it is digital, implantable, or both, can restore or correct hearing back to normal hearing levels. Hearing aids are designed to amplify residual hair cell function in the inner ear in order to enable an individual to hear sound that is not audible with their current hearing. Although hearing aids cannot correct hearing loss, they can restore the proper frequencies to a usuable, comfortable level, and can improve an individual’s health and improve his/her quality of life.
Will wearing a hearing aid make my hearing worse?
No. In fact, wearing a hearing aid can help exercise your ear and prevent problems with speech understanding.
What are digital hearing aids?
The term DIGITAL is used so often today, it can be confusing. When the term “digital” is used when referring to hearing aids, it generally means the hearing aid is 100% digital. In other words, the hearing aid is indeed a “complete computer”. 100% digital hearing aids have been commercially available since the mid-1990s and they are wonders of modern technology. 100% digital hearing aids can process sound using incredibly fast speeds. 100% digital hearing aids transform analog information into a digital signal and process the sound to maximize the speech information you want to hear, while minimizing the amplification of sounds you do not want to hear.
Importantly, digital technology allows the audiologist to tailor or customize the sound of your hearing aids to what you need and want to hear.
What are the advantages of the small, completely-in-the-canal hearing aids?
Completely-In-the-Canal hearing aids are very small and discreet. The benefits of this size are:
- less wind noise than larger instruments
- less feedback (squealing) on the telephone
- more natural sound quality in the ear
- less power is necessary in the hearing aid because it sits deeper in the ear canal
Binaural Hearing Aids…Do I really NEED TWO?
YES! Basically, if you have two ears with hearing loss, and if both ears could benefit from hearing aids, you need two hearing aids.
86 percent of all new hearing aid wearers are fit binaurally (both ears).
It is important to realize there are no “normal” animals born with only one ear. Simply stated, you have two ears because you need two ears. If you try to amplify sound in only one ear, you cannot expect to do very well. Even the best hearing aid will sound “flat” or “dull” when worn in only one ear.
You do need two ears to tell where the sound is coming from (localization). Localization is very important for determining the origin of warning signals, alerting sounds and of course, conversational speech.
Using both ears together allows your central nervous system (your brain) to better focus on, and process sounds you want to hear (human speech) while more or less “squelching” (ignoring) sounds you do not want to hear (background noise). One ear working by itself cannot do this very well. The brain needs to compare and contrast loudness, pitch and the phase (timing) of the sounds from the two ears to make sense of it!