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Published on: 1 July 2015

Hearing Aids for Adults

Successful hearing aid users are those who are motivated to improve their communication by improving their listening and hearing.

What should I know about hearing aids for adults?

Hearing Aids for Adults

Successful hearing aid users are those who are motivated to improve their communication by improving their listening and hearing. They have worked with their audiologist to learn what they can expect from hearing aids. That is, they understand what a hearing aid can and cannot do and how best to operate it. They also have family support.

How do hearing aids work?

All hearing aids have a microphone, processors, receiver, and battery compartment. Sound enters the microphone, is amplified and shaped by the processor, converted back into sound by the receiver, and directed out to the ear canal.

Will hearing aids eliminate all my communication problems?

With hearing aids, you will hear some sounds you have not heard previously or sounds you have not heard in a long time. At first, background noise may seem loud and distracting. Your own voice may sound louder. It can take several weeks or months to become adjusted to listening with your hearing aids.

When should I start using hearing aids?

Hearing loss is often gradual and, therefore, something that you adapt to. You may not notice it for months. Even years. There’s a growing collection of detailed studies that demonstrate that people with hearing loss do better addressing the limitation when they act quickly. In other words, the first time the family tells you to turn down the TV, it’s time for a hearing test.

Why? When the hearing nerves and the areas of the brain responsible for hearing are deprived of sound, they atrophy – weaken – making recovery from hearing loss through mechanical means, in other words a hearing aid, that much more difficult. The fancy term used by hearing professionals is auditory deprivation.

The key to hearing better longer is to keep the ear bits active and NOT let them atrophy. Through the use of hearing aids – early, when you first notice hearing loss – you’ll enjoy a better quality of hearing longer.

Are there other hearing devices that will help me hear with or without my hearing aids?

Hearing aids are very helpful in one-on-one situations, but sometimes they are not enough. A hearing assistive device can help you function better in your day-to-day communication situations. Hearing assistive devices are available for use with or without hearing aids. These devices provide extra help in specific listening situations, such as listening:

  • Over the telephone
  • With noisy backgrounds
  • In small or large group listening settings (such as restaurants, concert halls, and movie theatres)
  • At a distance from the sound source e.g. the television or in meetings

So, even though you have a hearing aid or implant, hearing assistive devices can enhance your communication experience. Your audiologist can advise you about any assistive technologies that might be of value.

Hearing in adults
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