Do Hearing Aids Damage Your Ears
Nanaimo hearing practitioner explains how modern hearing aids control volume to keep you safe
When considering hearing aids, a lot of people wonder if loud sounds will hurt their ears, says Hanan Merrill, a hearing practitioner and owner of Nanaimo Hearing Clinic.
Its a fair question, considering the basics of how they work. Hearing aids are amplifiers they make sounds louder and when theyre sitting deep inside your ear its reasonable to worry that theyll make your ears even worse. But modern hearing aids are much more sophisticated than simple amplifiers.
Auto hearing aids have automatic volume control
Auto hearing aids amplify different volumes of input differently, Hanan says.
Hearing aids are not hearing protection
If youre mowing the lawn or operating machinery, hearing aids wont protect your ears from loud noises even if theyre programmed to compress loud sounds.
If youre near a sound thats so loud it hurts your ears, hearing aids arent going to make it worse but they arent going to protect you either. You should still wear ear plugs or hearing protection for those activities.
Hanan admits theres one exception where hearing aids may cause damage, but those users understand the risks.
In general, hearing aids are a safe boost to the sounds youre missing, thanks to automatic volume control.
Problem: Hearing Aid Sound Is Weak Or Dead
First things first: Check to make sure you have a fresh battery in your device and replace the battery regularly as needed.
The most common reason for a hearing aid to sound weak or dead is that it is clogged with wax or debris. If your hearing aid has a wax guard, try replacing it with a fresh one. If you have a cleaning tool , clean both the microphone and receiver . Learn more about caring for your hearing aid.
How Long Will My Hearing Aids Last
Most people wear one pair of hearing aids about five years before they get a new pair. Hearing aids endure a lot of wear and tear, even if your most robust hobby is pulling weeds. New technology, including artificial intelligence, also makes upgrading irresistible for a lot of reasons, especially their capability to work in tandem with smartphones.
Speaking of, did your hearing aids come with a phone app? If so, we highly recommend spending some time checking out your hearing aid’s app, as they can track a lot of neat things for you. You might also want to check out some fun hearing exercises and games that can help you train your brain to hear better.
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Considerations When Purchasing A Hearing Aid
A medical examination is required before purchasing a hearing aid. Hearing aids can be purchased from an otolaryngologist , an audiologist , or an independent company. Styles and prices vary widely. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders recommends asking the following questions when buying hearing aids:
Can the hearing loss be improved with medical or surgical interventions?
Which design will work best for my type of hearing loss?
May I “test” the hearing aids for a certain period?
How much do hearing aids cost?
Do the hearing aids have a warranty and does it cover maintenance and repairs?
Can my audiologist or otolaryngologist make adjustments and repairs?
Can any other assistive technological devices be used with the hearing aids?
Can Hearing Aids Affect Your Balance
Balance and hearing are both handled by the ear, so its natural to wonder if theyre related. If so, does the use of a hearing aid affect ones balance? Those are both interesting questions to ponder, but the answers are simpler than you think. While its true the body uses the inner ears labyrinth in addition to visual and other sensory data as key elements in maintaining your balance, the parts of the ear that relate to balance are not the same parts that are primarily concerned with hearing.
To make it simpler, balance disorders and hearing disorders tend to be different. While there are some conditions that cause both hearing loss and balance issues, the symptoms still need to be treated differently. That means your hearing aid should not affect your balance. If using a hearing aid does seem to cause spells of vertigo, its time to investigate why and how thats happening.
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Ears Itch From Hearing Aids Heres What To Do
If you have hearing loss, your audiologist or provider has likely suggested you invest in hearing aids.
Modern hearing aids are technologically advanced and can really improve independence and quality of life for those who struggle with hearing impairment. Millions of people benefit from this amazing tool every day.
Hearing aids are great for helping you communicate with family and friends, live life normally every day, and can even help prevent further hearing loss and other serious diagnoses like dementia and depression.
Hearing aids are very important. When getting hearing aids, however, its also important to understand that there are some little-known side effects to be aware of when wearing them.
Itchy ears is one side effect that most people dont talk about, even though it is a fairly common issue among hearing aid users.
The skin inside of the ear canal can be quite sensitive, so if it becomes irritated by the constant presence or material of the hearing aid, itching can result. It is estimated that about 40% of hearing aid users experience itchy ears.
Luckily there are easy ways to mitigate and prevent itchy ears caused by hearing aids.
The most common reason for itchy ears for hearing aid users is allergies or sensitivity to the material the hearing aids are made from.
Keeping your ears clean and tidy is key to having a good hearing aid experience and to prevent itching.
Hearing Aids Side Effects
When it comes to hearing aids, these advanced devices have the power to improve your quality of life and your daily communication. But, its important to understand there is an adjustment period when getting used to your hearing aids, during which you may experience some minor side effects.
Luckily, your hearing instrument specialist will be able to make small tweaks to your settings or even the fit of your hearing aid to combat most of these mild side effects. When adjusting to your hearing aids, consider the following tips:
- Speak to your hearing instrument specialist and make sure that you have the right hearing aid for your hearing loss
- Get it checked for its fitting if its not fitting properly this can cause discomfort
- Ensure that you have all the features that you need turned on
- Clean your hearing aid properly to prevent a build-up of bacteria and debris
- Speak to your hearing instrument specialist if you are in any way concerned
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What Do I Do If I Wear A Hearing Aid And I Get An Ear Infection
If you are a hearingaid user and you get an infection, dont panic. Instead, let your ears get asmuch air circulation as possible. Remove your hearing aids often in order toallow your ears a chance to breathe. This is especially important if you wearan in-the-ear style hearing aid since the hearing aid acts as a plug anddoes not allow much air from reaching the ear canal and eardrum. Additionally,keep your ears as dry as possible. If the infection has not eased or cleared ina few days, consult with your doctor. A doctor can prescribe antibiotics oreardrops to help clear a bacterial ear infection.
Throughout theduration of the ear infection, it is important to continue your hearing aidcleaning routine. It is easy for bacteria to live and grow on your hearingaids. So even if your ears become clear of infection, an unclean hearing aidmay cause you to re-infect your ears with bacteria.
What If My Hearing Loss Gets Worse
For most people, hearing loss gets progressively worse over time. That’s why it’s important to see your hearing care provider regularly. She or he can give you a hearing test and update your hearing aids to reflect the changes in your hearing. If your hearing loss has progressed to severe or profound, your provider may recommend a superpower hearing aid or a cochlear implant. To slow the rate of hearing loss, be sure to protect your residual hearing.
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The Hidden Risks Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is frustrating for those who have it and for their loved ones. But recent research from Johns Hopkins reveals that it also is linked with walking problems, falls and even dementia.
In a study that tracked 639 adults for nearly 12 years, Johns Hopkins expert Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D, and his colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Moderate loss tripled risk, and people with a severe hearing impairment were five times more likely to develop dementia.
Can Hearing Aids Cause Vertigo
Vertigo â a dizzy, off-balance feeling â can often be a symptom of inner ear damage or infection. While vertigo can sometimes accompany hearing loss, hearing loss itself does not lead to vertigo. Treating hearing loss with hearing aids should also not cause symptoms of vertigo. If you feel dizzy with new hearing aids, you might want to meet with an audiologist to get to the root of the problem. Hereâs more information if youâre wondering can hearing aids cause vertigo.
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Paying For Hearing Aids
If you do not mind paying for treatment, you can choose to go to a private hearing aid provider directly.
This may mean you can pick from a wider range of hearing aids, including the smaller, less visible models.
Not all hearing aids are suitable for everyone, but the hearing specialist will tell you which hearing aids are suitable within your budget.
If you choose to pay for private treatment:
- make sure you research typical costs of hearing aids and any aftercare you can pay anything from £500 to £3,500 or more for a single hearing aid
- shop around to see what types of hearing aid are available from different providers
- consider the cost of batteries and if you can change them easily
How To Get Rid Of Ear Wax
What to do if you have an ear wax blockage. What is the best way to remove ear wax?
If you develop an obstruction in your ears and think that ear wax is the culprit, it is advised you follow this advice:
- Cotton buds: Do not use a cotton bud, a hairpin or a sharp tool to try to remove the wax. When you poke at your ear with a foreign object, the ear wax pushes back into our ear canals and may cause health problems and cause the problem to escalate.
- Earwax candles: Do not try ear candling. In this practice, a tapered long candle is inserted into the ears of the individual with impacted ear wax and then the other end is lit. Those who practise ear candling claim that the fire produces suction, which draws the ear wax out of the ear. These claims are simply not true. Furthermore, lighting objects so close to the ear constitutes a fire risk and is not recommended by the NHS. Injuries may include eye, ear and middle ear burns, eardrum damage or further blockage of the ear canal.
Ear Wax Removal Kits- Here are some things to do instead:
Use ear drops
A pharmacist might recommend chemical drops to dissolve the ear wax. The ear wax will break off on its own or dissolve after approximately one week. Nonetheless, do not use it if you have a hole in your eardrums .
Hydrogen Peroxide Ear Wax Does it work?
Is there a natural way of removing ear wax?
See your GP or Local Audiologist
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Top 10 Dos And Donts Of Wearing Hearing Aids
Now, lets talk about these recommendations in a little more detail.
1. Dont let hairspray get into your the hearing aids. It will gum them up. So dont apply hairspray with your hearing aids on, and be sure to wait for the hairspray to dry before you put your hearing aids on.
2. Keep hearing aids away from dogs. Patients often bring me hearing aids that their family pet has chewed on. To avoid this, when you take your hearing aids off, put them high up and in a safe place. If youre using a telephone and you lay the hearing aid down on a low table, the dog is likely to hear the sound of the aid and put it in its mouth to see if it tastes as good as it smells. Damage done by a dog is not covered by hearing aid insurance and warrantees because it falls under the category of negligence.
4. Keep your hearing aids away from all types of water. Do not wear them in a bath, shower, or while swimming.
5. You must turn your hearing aid off when you are not using it. If you dont, the battery will wear out quickly. Open the battery compartment of the hearing aid to turn the instrument off. Note: Disregard this advice if you are using a hearing aid charging box. Most of these boxes turn the hearing aids off for you.
8. There are many different ways to use hearing aid with telephones. The simplest way is to place the telephone on top of the hearing aid when you are using the phone.
Can You Push A Hearing Aid In Too Far
You can push a hearing aid in too far. In such a case it hurts. When you buy hearing aids your hearing aid professional will instruct you on how deep the hearing aids should be placed optimally. The ear canals usually get smaller the deeper you look into it. But in some cases, the ear canals can be so big you could touch the eardrum with a hearing aid. That would hurt. In such a case it is advised to stop the insertion of a hearing aid and talk to your hearing care professional about the problem.
This is very seldom the case as the professional validates the fitting of a hearing aid during the visit to the shop. But what is common when it is pushed too far is unnecessary pressure that builds up due to squeezed areas of the ear canal.
When this happens the fit can be improved by your acoustician optimizing the custom earpiece with slight changes of the shape. Another way to make sure the hearing aid can not be pushed too far into the ear is by switching from a silicone dome to a custom earmold.
When a little silicone dome is pushed into the ear canal the dome changes its form and can then end in a position that is deeper as intended by the hearing care professional. But when a custom earmold is made the earpiece is already shaped after your ear. This way the hearing aid can not be pushed too far anymore as with a little dome.
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Which Hearing Aid Will Work Best For Me
The hearing aid that will work best for you depends on the kind and severity of your hearing loss. If you have a hearing loss in both of your ears, two hearing aids are generally recommended because two aids provide a more natural signal to the brain. Hearing in both ears also will help you understand speech and locate where the sound is coming from.
You and your audiologist should select a hearing aid that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Price is also a key consideration because hearing aids range from hundreds to several thousand dollars. Similar to other equipment purchases, style and features affect cost. However, dont use price alone to determine the best hearing aid for you. Just because one hearing aid is more expensive than another does not necessarily mean that it will better suit your needs.
A hearing aid will not restore your normal hearing. With practice, however, a hearing aid will increase your awareness of sounds and their sources. You will want to wear your hearing aid regularly, so select one that is convenient and easy for you to use. Other features to consider include parts or services covered by the warranty, estimated schedule and costs for maintenance and repair, options and upgrade opportunities, and the hearing aid companys reputation for quality and customer service.
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Hearing Aids For People Who Are Deaf In One Ear
|BAHA . This type of hearing aid works well in persons with severe unilateral hearing loss. The image to the left, from Prosper hospital, shows how a button is inserted into the bone of the skull above the ear. The middle image is from //www.islandhearing.com/bone_anchored_hearing_aids.htm, by Island Hearing. The device is attached to the button within the skull. It is very unobtrusive .
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