How Effective are Hearing Aids?
If you have hearing loss and have been recommended by your audiologist to try out a hearing aid, you may be wondering just how effective they can be.
It is thought that around only twenty percent of people who can benefit from wearing a hearing aid actually do wear one. This can be for many reasons, including a general denial that there is a problem, concerns over the way that they look and the fact that many people are not informed and are dismissive over the effectiveness of a hearing aid. Perhaps they know someone who had a bad experience with one many years ago, or they have tried one and it did not have the immediate effects that they had hoped for.
Hearing aids are so much better than they used to be. They are a lot smaller, neater and cosmetically acceptable and work a lot better. The earlier you get them in your hearing loss journey, the more you will get out of them, so do not wait until your hearing gets to a point where you can’t hear anything at all before seeing your audiologist.
They may not work for everyone, including people who have severe to profound nerve deafness or neural hearing loss in both ears. The reason for this is because hearing aids amplify sound, but when the hearing loss is too significant, the hearing aid can distort sounds rather than making them clearer. When this happens, a cochlear implant may be more beneficial.
Benefits of hearing aids
Hearing aids will not make your hearing perfect. What they will do is make sounds a lot louder and a lot clearer, reducing the impact that hearing loss has on your life. They will help you to hear the doorbell and the telephone, improve your ability to listen to people talking, make you feel more comfortable and confident when talking to people and to follow conversations in noisy environments. They will also help you to enjoy listening to the TV and music at a volume that is comfortable for you and those around you.
If you do get a hearing aid, do not be surprised if they do not work straight away. Contrary to popular belief, you do not put them in your ears and magically hear everything clearly. They take a while and a period of adjustment for them to show their actual effectiveness. Sometimes, it can take time and additional visits to your audiologist to have them adjusted and get them functioning correctly for your needs and hearing ability. You need patience and to manage your expectations. Many audiologists will recommend building up the use of your hearing aids to help you get used to them, starting off with shorter periods of time in quieter environments before working up to longer chunks of time and more complex and noisy situations.
Many hearing aids can also now help with the symptoms of tinnitus. They come with a specialty function that provides light background noise to help reduce the effects of tinnitus. This technology can have a massive impact on those who experience tinnitus and can significantly improve their quality of life.
Studies from the National Institute for Health Research (NICR) found that wearing hearing aids for between six to sixteen weeks led to an average 26-point reduction on a 100-point scale measuring the quality of a person’s life, which is significant. Those participants reported the overall generic quality of life as being greatly improved by wearing hearing aids compared to non-wearers or placebos and using a hearing aid also greatly improved listening ability. Only one study set out to measure any adverse effects from wearing a hearing aid and reported that there were none.
Hearing loss can have a massive impact on a person’s quality of life. It is all too often viewed as a natural and inevitable part of aging. While this can be true, it does not mean that it is something that you need to put up with. Knowing the positive effects that hearing aids can have on people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss can encourage people to seek help earlier to maximize their benefit. After all, the average person takes between seven to ten years to seek advice after experiencing their first signs of hearing loss.
For more information about hearing aids and the impact that they can have on your life, give Affordable Hearing a call at Irmo: 803-749-6017 or Orangeburg and Santee: 803-531-6403.