Hearing Aids: What They Do and How They Work?
Hearing aids are devices that help people with a hearing loss hear more clearly to bridge the communication barrier they are experiencing. Poor hearing results in multiple negative consequences such as:
- Reduced earning capacity and promotions in the workplace
- Increased risk of falling with worsening hearing
- Increased risk of cognitive decline and memory loss
- Reduced social participation
- Increased risk of anxiety and depressive thoughts
As such hearing loss is much more than just poor hearing. It is poor wellbeing. People with hearing loss often report feeling “limited” to what they can and can’t do. Therefore, in addition to diagnosing a hearing deficit, an audiologist must work with the individual to improve their quality of life and help to remove hearing loss as a barrier to living life to the fullest. Hearing aids account for only one step in this pathway to better hearing, however for the purpose of this article we will focus on hearing aids.
Hearing aids are medical devices designed to help improve hearing and subsequently improve the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical wellbeing of those with hearing difficulties. As their name suggests, hearing aids, AID hearing. They do not fix hearing or return hearing to normal.
Hearing aids are specifically programmed to each unique hearing ear, to ensure the sound quality, volume and pitch is correctly tuned to the individual and their hearing loss.
There are many different styles and brands of hearing aids. The sound experience and social-emotional, cognitive, and physical benefit one receives from hearing devices depends on many intrinsic and extrinsic factors. These include, however not limited to:
- The motivation to improve hearing
- How much hearing difficulty is experienced
- The shape of the ear
- The degree of hearing loss
- The type of hearing loss
- Dexterity and ability to manage devices independently
- The knowledge and experience of the clinician fitting and fine tuning the device
The type of hearing aid most suitable for you, should be explored with your audiologist. It is their responsibility to give you a thorough understanding of devices, to understand your hearing goals and help you achieve them. As such, a clinic which provides access to all brands and styles of hearing devices is extremely important to ensure you have access to technology most suitable to your unique needs.
When looking for hearing aids, be sure to enquire as to whether the hearing clinic is an independent audiology practice and if you will be seeing an experienced hearing rehabilitation audiologist. The programming and fine tuning of a device can make all the difference in sound and communication outcomes.
Victorian Hearing are an independent and Australian owned and operated hearing practice with team of university trained and accredited audiologists.
Hearing well means you are more connected to the world around you. Hearing more clearly, means increased confidence when in social settings and feeling more included in the conversations around you. Research has shown people will feel safer in their environment to move around and be more active. Furthermore, improved hearing helps improve balance, reducing risks of falls. Improved hearing also reduces our effort to store information. Hearing aids are therefore much more than devices to help you hear. They help maintain your independence and live a life without limitations, for longer.