Hearing aids are perhaps the best treatment for people with hearing loss. These clever devices amplify sounds reaching the inner ear, allowing the brain to represent noises more accurately in the environment. 

Around one-third of people over the age of 65 in America have some degree of hearing loss. Typically, hearing loss occurs gradually and then accelerates as people get older. However, day-to-day changes tend to be small. In many cases, the patient themselves doesn’t actually notice that they have a problem until family and friends point out that there is an issue. Fortunately, in almost all cases, hearing aids provide a resolution. 

In this post, we take a look at some of the specific advantages of wearing hearing aids and why you should consider using them if you believe you might have hearing loss

Comfortable Fit

Hearing aids are not generic devices. Instead, audiologists and their suppliers manufacture them bespoke to fit snugly in your ears. 

The critical component is the earmold. Audiologists first take a mold of your ear and then send it off to production facilities. Producers then create an earmold that precisely conforms to your ear’s contours, allowing it to fit snugly. It is natural to experience some occlusion when you wear hearing aids for the first time. However, after a short period, your brain becomes used to the change and, eventually, you probably won’t notice it. 

Less Intrusive Background Noise

Background noise can make it hard to hear what people close to you are saying, particularly if you have hearing loss. Even simple sounds, such as a refrigerator or computer fan can make it difficult to detect individual words. 

Fortunately, hearing aids help with this too. They contain technology that blocks out low-level ambient sounds while amplifying the noises that you do want to hear, such as a person’s voice. If you find yourself struggling to hear people in loud environments, be sure to pick a hearing aid with a dual microphone. These tend to offer the best performance. 

Improved Ability to Listen

Being able to listen is one of life’s joys, but if you have hearing loss, you may not find it so easy. Again, hearing aids can help. Microphones and speakers, for example, boost speech sound levels. Moreover, they can amplify specific frequencies, making it easier to hear women and children. 

You can also get hearing aids that directly pipe sounds from telephones, TVs and other electronics to your hearing aids. Devices do not produce any sound of their own. Instead, they send signals to your hearing aids, activating the onboard speaker. This speaker then transmits sounds directly to your eardrum. This technology tends to be better than using the microphone to pick up sounds. There is no distortion, providing a crisper experience. 

Improved Ability to Detect Sound Direction

If you wear two hearing aids, you can get devices with special technology that allows you to detect the direction of a sound, not just the amplitude. This feature works in tandem with how our ears naturally pick up sounds. 

To determine the direction of a sound, our brain listens for delays as soundwaves pass the ears. Tiny delays allow it to figure out where a noise came from. Hearing aids can do this too. They pipe sounds to the ear in such a way as to mimic this natural process, giving you a better three-dimensional perspective of your sound environment. 

Improved Ability to Hear Missing Sounds

Hearing loss isn’t just about what you can hear, but also what you can’t. For example, many people who wear hearing aids after a diagnosis find that they can hear things like birdsong and the wind rustling leaves for the first time in many years. Some are shocked to realize that they lived without hearing these noises without even noticing. 

Feeling More Confident

Lastly, many people with hearing loss withdraw into social isolation. When they can’t hear the people around them, it makes conversation less enjoyable. It is also extremely hard work straining to listen to other people’s voices. 

Unfortunately, this sort of isolation can lead to depression and other health issues. Patients with hearing loss may spend weeks at a time in their homes without interacting with anyone else.

When you wear hearing aids, though, social interactions become easy again. You feel much more confident and ready to take on the world. 

If you think that you might have hearing loss, you can learn more by calling Ascent Audiology & Hearing at 360-515-9948.

Tags: fitting