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Do Hearing Aids Restore Hearing?

Image of HD 91 Digital Hearing Aid balancing on fingertip HD 91 Digital Hearing Aid

Hearing aids are indispensable devices when it comes to managing hearing loss and improving the lifestyle of the hard of hearing. Many people realise their usefulness after quite some time of experiencing difficulties with hearing. Once, however, they start feeling the benefits the hearing aids offer, they become an essential part of their everyday life.

Nevertheless, as helpful as hearing aids are they are not a cure for hearing loss and they should not carry the expectation of normal hearing restoration. It is misleading to suggest that the prolonged use of hearing aids will make hearing without them better. Hearing loss, when permanent, deteriorates with time and the process cannot be reversed. The main function of hearing aids is to amplify sounds and allow people to lead their life as normally as possible, be independent and socialise as before.

The structure and function of the ear as well as sound processing by the brain are very complex and no technological device can imitate them to such an extent as to resemble intact hearing. The basic function of the hearing aid is namely to aid the residual hearing and to amplify sounds so that the brain can be stimulated and acknowledge the incoming information. Advanced hearing devices focus on speech and suppression of background noise in order to ease signal perception and communication as much as possible.

Adjusting to sounds that come from the hearing aids and realising that the environment emits all kinds of noises such as of a fridge motor or a computer fan takes time and patience. It should not be expected that using hearing aids result in hearing being restored or perceived as remembered. The brain will need time to get used to the new sound environment and to recognize the important sounds and ignore the insignificant ones. Once the adjusting period has passed, however, using hearing aids will be a normal part of everyday activities.

It should be noted though that regardless of the comfort you feel with hearing aids, you should know that they do not cure hearing impairment and you will not feel any improvement in hearing if you stop using them. On the contrary, prolonged times of not using the hearing aid could make the ear unresponsive to recognising properly the signals it once perceived when using them and a new adjustment period might be required.

It should be remembered that hearing aids help hard of hearing return to daily routines such as watching TV or listening to the radio or answering the phone or the door. They improve the quality of life so much that not taking advantage of their service will have a substantial impact on social life, and can hinder communication and pose difficulties at work.

Finding a suitable hearing aid for the individual condition is essential for getting the most from the device. When this happens, the hearing aid becomes vital for enjoying normal everyday experiences and leads to greater confidence and independence.

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