Hearing aids are designed to provide people with several benefits – mainly to help them hear the sounds of the world around them with more clarity and definition. Understandably, people have concerns when they first commit to using them.
Hearing aids amplify sounds, making them seem louder to the individual, and therefore this may lead to the assumption that they could cause further hearing loss. In reality, hearing aids are equipped with safety mechanisms that prevent them from damaging your ears.
These inbuilt safety measures ensure that the hearing aids act in a predictable way and therefore reduce the chance of them exacerbating hearing loss by suddenly producing loud volumes. In this guide, we’ll cover this topic in more detail.
Can Hearing Aids Cause Hearing Loss?
Contrary to what you may have heard, hearing aids come with built-in safety systems, which protect your ears from sudden loud volumes that could cause damage.
While the sounds they make may seem louder to you than they would without the aid, they are still within the limits that the safety mechanisms will allow.
Hearing aids will also not damage your hearing in the long term. The devices are programmed to meet your individual hearing needs and, consequently, should not produce volumes that will cause permanent hearing loss.
Your audiologist should explain the settings available to you so that you can choose them based on your specific needs.
The use of hearing aids also means that you are more likely to pay closer attention to the sounds around you, which can help you to stay alert to any potential risks to your hearing.
Therefore, hearing aids can actually help to protect your hearing in the long term.
The Potential Risks of Hearing Aid Use
Although it’s unlikely that hearing aids will exacerbate hearing loss, it’s still important to ensure that they’re set up correctly and that they are a comfortable fit.
If you feel any physical discomfort when wearing the hearing aid, then it’s important to talk to your audiologist straight away. Some hearing aids can cause a feeling of pressure in the ears, which can be uncomfortable and may even cause dizziness.
Wearing hearing aids can increase the risk of ear infections, particularly if the hearing aids are not properly cleaned and maintained. Regular cleaning and maintenance, as well as seeking prompt medical attention for any signs of infection, can help reduce this risk.
Some people may become overly dependent on their hearing aids and may have difficulty communicating or hearing in situations where they are not wearing their hearing aids. It is important to use hearing aids as a tool to help improve communication, but not as a replacement for other communication skills, such as lip-reading or sign language.
Will my hearing get worse if I don’t wear a hearing aid?
Although it is true that hearing aids can help reduce the effects of hearing loss, whether you choose to wear one or not will likely have little impact on your overall hearing health.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss, however, it is important to have them evaluated by a professional audiologist as soon as possible
Can cheap hearing aids damage your hearing?
Some cheap hearing aids can provide the same quality of sound as more expensive models and will not damage your hearing.
It is important to choose a device that fits your lifestyle and budget and is designed for your specific level of hearing loss, so be sure to consult with an audiologist before making a purchase.
Does wearing hearing aids slow down hearing loss?
Using a properly fitted hearing aid can help minimize the effects of hearing loss by providing sound amplification and making it easier to communicate. This is especially true for people with age-related hearing loss, as the device will allow them to hear more clearly and follow conversations better.