Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Does Wearing Hearing Aids Cause Hearing Loss

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When Do We Need Hearing Aids

Do Hearing Aids Cause Additional Hearing Loss?

Hearing aids are useful if our hearing loss is permanent. In some cases the Conductive hearing loss is curable, unless the damage to the outer ear or the middle ear is permanent.

Sensorineural hearing Loss is not curable. Research in the regeneration of Hair cells is at an advanced stage. A cure will be available shortly. Hearing aids or Cochlear Implant is the only solution to overcome the Hearing loss.

Why Is It Harder To Hear After Ive Tried Hearing Aids

Prior to wearing hearing aids, its likely that your hearing loss progressed gradually. Your brain has gotten used to hearing fewer sounds and straining to discern conversation, and subsequently perceives this level of hearing as normal.

However, when you begin wearing hearing aids, you brain receives information it has not gotten in quite some time and adjusts to recognize this as the new normal. As a result, trying to hear without hearing aids may seem like it is worse than it was before because your hearing loss has become more noticeable. Your brain thinks the new hearing aids cause hearing loss to worsen, but your brain isjust adjusting to your new normal.

Do All Hearing Aids Work The Same Way

Hearing aids work differently depending on the electronics used. The two main types of electronics are analog and digital.

Analog aids convert sound waves into electrical signals, which are amplified. Analog/adjustable hearing aids are custom built to meet the needs of each user. The aid is programmed by the manufacturer according to the specifications recommended by your audiologist. Analog/programmable hearing aids have more than one program or setting. An audiologist can program the aid using a computer, and you can change the program for different listening environmentsfrom a small, quiet room to a crowded restaurant to large, open areas, such as a theater or stadium. Analog/programmable circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids. Analog aids usually are less expensive than digital aids.

Digital aids convert sound waves into numerical codes, similar to the binary code of a computer, before amplifying them. Because the code also includes information about a sounds pitch or loudness, the aid can be specially programmed to amplify some frequencies more than others. Digital circuitry gives an audiologist more flexibility in adjusting the aid to a users needs and to certain listening environments. These aids also can be programmed to focus on sounds coming from a specific direction. Digital circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids.

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What Are Hearing Aids

Nearly 36 million adults in the U.S. have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids can help improve hearing and speech especially in persons with sensorineural hearing loss . Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by virus or bacteria, noise, injury, infection, aging, certain medications, birth defects, tumors, problems with blood circulation or high blood pressure, and stroke.

Hearing aids are electronic, battery-operated devices that can amplify and change sound. A microphone receives the sound as sound waves. The sound waves are then converted into electrical signals.

Change Your Wax Guards

Do Hearing Aids Cause Hearing Loss?

If you want to keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape, make sure you change your wax guards when you need to. The wax guard is the only thing that keeps wax out of the speaker of your hearing aid. Usually, they do a fantastic job, however, if you leave it too long between changes the wax guard can fail and allow ear wax past.

Make a visual inspection of your wax filter, if it is packed with wax, use the brush that came with your cleaning kit on it to try and dislodge it. This is better done in the morning because usually the ear wax will have dried overnight and will be easier to dislodge. If you can’t get it all out, well then it is time to change the wax guard.

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It Might Be Time To See An Audiologist Again

If you begin wearing your aids again and the sound isnt comfortable, you may need to tolerate a period of adjustment. If that doesn’t work, seeing an audiologist is a good idea, since hearing can change over time for anyone. An audiologist can reprogram the hearing aids if needed, and help motivate you to use your hearing aids full-time.

Should You Wear Hearing Aids All The Time

This spring, when I fell ill with the coronavirus, I didnt leave my apartment for six weeks. Neighbors and friends brought me medicine and food and I mostly kept in touch by texting. I spoke to my doctors by phone or video. I didnt put on my hearing aids while alone or for these calls. I used headphones and turned up the volume. After all, with headphones you can just turn up the volume.

Weve all heard the jokes about attending video meetings without your pants and skipping a shower or two. Even if you werent sick, how many of us have left our hearing aids in the case?

But, as I soon learned, its important to wear hearing aids through your waking hourseven when youre at home for days during a pandemic. To keep your hearing and brain sharp, the only time you should be removing your hearing aids is for sleeping and activities like showering or swimming.

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How Can Hearing Aids Help

Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines.

A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a persons hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference. However, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into neural signals. In this situation, a hearing aid would be ineffective.

Can Hearing Aids Damage Hearing

Do I need Hearing Aids for a Mild Hearing Loss?

Whenever the topic of whats to blame for the nations epidemic of hearing loss rears its head, practitioners are swift to blame loud noises and rightly so. The modern sound environment can be damaging to your hearing.

But the next question naturally arises: If loud noises are harmful to hearing, doesnt that mean hearing aids could be, too? After all, they amplify incoming sounds. It only stands to reason that they could make hearing worse.

While incorrectly adjusted hearing aids can cause problems, hearing aids selected with and fit by an audiologist are safe and effective.

Any loud noise can potentially harm hearing, everything from loud music to drills on a building site. Excessively energetic sound waves damage the small sound-sensing hairs that line the middle ear, degrading their ability to send signals to the brain.

But heres the rub: Hearing aids are only dangerous to hearing if set up incorrectly. If you go to a trained audiologist, the risk is negligible.

The trick to adjusting hearing aids is to make sure that they deliver a level of sound that does not cause further damage to the ears. If you buy a hearing aid over the internet and fit it yourself, you must judge the appropriate amplification without any equipment to help you. If, however, you go to a professional, they do all that for you, using state-of-the-art techniques.

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Hearing Aid Myths That Hold You Back

Can hearing aids reduce these risks? Lin hopes to find out in a new study, still in the planning stages. These studies have never been done before, he notes. What we do know is that theres no downside to using hearing aids. They help most people who try them. And in those people, they can make all the difference in the worldallowing people to reengage with friends and family and to be more involved again.

Although nearly 27 million Americans age 50 and older have hearing loss, only one in seven uses a hearing aid. If you think your hearing has diminished, its worth making an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing check, Lin says. If you have hearing loss, dont let the following myths keep you from getting help.

No It Doesnt Cause Hearing Loss

The quick and straightforward answer to this is that no, hearing aids dont cause hearing loss, yet there are reports that they do. The misconception stems from a trick of perception.

A person who experiences hearing loss waits 7-10 years before they seek help. Therefore, their hearing ability has worsened during that time that they dont realize they start to perceive the gradual hearing loss to be their normal.

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Who Needs A Hearing Aid

Profound hearing loss Minimal or no benefit from conventional aid, consider cochlear implant if bilateral, BAHA if unilateral.

An example of an audiogram where a hearing aid is probably not going to help because of a steep drop is shown below.

A hearing aid will likely go “in the drawer” for a person like this. There is a very steep drop between 1-2K, and at higher frequencies, hearing is severely impaired.

The problem here is that there is only a small range of frequencies where making sound louder will help . Making things louder at higher frequencies will cause distortion and feedback. This patient does not need anything louder at lower frequencies, so benefit is minimal.

Uncorrected Hearing Loss Subjects Your Brain To ‘auditory Deprivation’

6 Reasons of Why is Hearing Aid Fitting Important ...

Most people with hearing loss dont hear sounds of certain frequencies, usually high ones. If you dont hear those soundsbecause your hearing loss isnt correctedyour brain adapts.

Imagine a baby who doesn’t have the ability to hear. If hearing and speech and language are the parents goal, we need to get stimulation to the auditory nerve quickly because neural synapses are developing, explains Catherine Palmer, president of the American Academy of Audiology, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and director of audiology for its health system. This is an issue for adults as well. We dont want the auditory system deprived of sound because over time that can change auditory processing abilities, she said. Your brain may forget how to hear certain words and sounds, in other words. This is known as auditory deprivation.

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How Much Do Hearing Aids Cost

Hearing aids are typically not covered by Medicare or commercial insurance and pricing varies according to the manufacturer, vendor, and service arrangements. According to Kirkwood , in 2004, the average price of a hearing aid was $1776. These prices are taken from an article on management of hearing loss by Bogardus et al, 2003.

Hearing Aid Type

Can Wearing Headphones Or Earbuds Cause Hearing Loss

Seems like no matter where you turn, you will see someone wearing headphones or earbuds. Learn about how they can affect you hearing, the warning signs of hearing loss and ways to protect your ears from hearing damage.

Hi, I’m Jim Cuddy. And this is Ask The Hearing Doctors and I’m joined today by Dr. Travis Stehouwer, doctor of audiology with Hearing Doctors. The Washington DC area’s highest-rated audiology practice with over 1,500, five-star reviews. Travis, great to see you. Nice to see you.

So the bottom line is… can wearing headphones or earbuds cause hearing loss?

Yes it can. But fortunately most people don’t listen to headphones at a level that is damaging. But it is most certainly possible. Pretty much any headphones nowadays are capable if you turn them all the way up to cause damage.

Well and you see people I mean just about everybody walking down the street has earbuds or headphones on. And or if you’re on a public transportation the same kind of thing. When you can hear what they’re listening to as you’re walking past them, I’m probably safe to presume that they’re doing damage to their ears?

Yeah probably. So it does depend on how long they’re listening to it for. But if someone is routinely turning the volume up so high that other people can hear it pretty clearly that is probably too much. Yeah.

In what instances would someone need to turn the volume up that loud?

What about just wearing one earbud versus both?

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Using Hearing Aids To Manage Tinnitus

How can hearing aids help with tinnitus? In several important ways, it turns out. Wearing them reduces the cognitive burden involved in the listening process, thereby decreasing stress, which can exacerbate tinnitus.

Because hearing aids amplify background sounds, turning up the volume can help mask the sound of tinnitus, allowing the brain to focus on ambient noises instead.

This is especially effective in those patients whose tinnitus occurs at the same frequency as their hearing loss.

For patients whose tinnitus is so loud and distracting it interferes with their ability to follow conversations or watch television, turning up the volume on their hearing aids boosts these sound signals, drowning out the ringing noise and allowing them to hear better.

If youre experiencing tinnitus in and already wear hearing aids, contact your Encino audiologist and try these tips to help ease your frustration.

How Can I Find Out If I Need A Hearing Aid

Do I Need To Wear My Hearing Aids, ALL The Time?

If you think you might have hearing loss and could benefit from a hearing aid, visit your physician, who may refer you to an otolaryngologist or audiologist. An otolaryngologist is a physician who specializes in ear, nose, and throat disorders and will investigate the cause of the hearing loss. An audiologist is a hearing health professional who identifies and measures hearing loss and will perform a hearing test to assess the type and degree of loss.

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The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

Tinnitus is not a disease, but rather, the symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Almost anything that can cause hearing loss can also cause tinnitus the most common causes include noise exposure, natural aging, and ototoxic medications .

Its little wonder many individuals experience both tinnitus and hearing loss.

While this may feel like a double whammy, theres a bit of good news: your hearing aids wont only help you communicate more effectively they might also help you manage your tinnitus. According to research:

  • 8 percent of hearing aid users report a moderate to substantial reduction in their tinnitus when using hearing aids.
  • Two out of three people experience tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids most of the time to all of the time, and 29 percent report that using hearing aids alleviates their tinnitus all of the time.

The New Normal Can You Give Me An Example

Consider how your body senses temperature. After youve been out at the beach all day in 90-degree weather, going inside to a 70-degree room feels chilly, since your body has adjusted to consider 90 degrees as normal. However, when youve been out shoveling snow in the winter, going inside to a 70-degree home feels warm. Your brain and body have come to consider below 30 degrees normal. The temperature of the room in question hasnt changed, but your perceptions have.

In the same way, when you begin wearing hearing aids, your brain learns to take in the new information. When you take off your hearing aids, your hearing loss becomes more noticeable. Your hearing seems muted and diminished without your devices, but it already was you just notice it more because youve been experiencing better hearing with the hearing aids. This is where the myth of hearing aids cause hearing loss comes from.

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What Research Is Being Done On Hearing Aids

Researchers are looking at ways to apply new signal processing strategies to the design of hearing aids. Signal processing is the method used to modify normal sound waves into amplified sound that is the best possible match to the remaining hearing for a hearing aid user. NIDCD-funded researchers also are studying how hearing aids can enhance speech signals to improve understanding.

In addition, researchers are investigating the use of computer-aided technology to design and manufacture better hearing aids. Researchers also are seeking ways to improve sound transmission and to reduce noise interference, feedback, and the occlusion effect. Additional studies focus on the best ways to select and fit hearing aids in children and other groups whose hearing ability is hard to test.

Another promising research focus is to use lessons learned from animal models to design better microphones for hearing aids. NIDCD-supported scientists are studying the tiny fly Ormia ochracea because its ear structure allows the fly to determine the source of a sound easily. Scientists are using the flys ear structure as a model for designing miniature directional microphones for hearing aids. These microphones amplify the sound coming from a particular direction , but not the sounds that arrive from other directions. Directional microphones hold great promise for making it easier for people to hear a single conversation, even when surrounded by other noises and voices.

How Can I Adjust To My Hearing Aid

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Hearing aids take time and patience to use successfully. Wearing your aids regularly will help you adjust to them.

Become familiar with your hearing aids features. With your audiologist present, practice putting in and taking out the aid, cleaning it, identifying right and left aids, and replacing the batteries. Ask how to test it in listening environments where you have problems with hearing. Learn to adjust the aids volume and to program it for sounds that are too loud or too soft. Work with your audiologist until you are comfortable and satisfied.

You may experience some of the following problems as you adjust to wearing your new aid.

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