The straightforward answer to this question is no. No hearing aid can restore your hearing completely. This device does exactly as its name implies, which is, they act as technological aid to improve your quality of life. Statistics indicate that about 28.8 million people in the US require hearing aids, but few use these devices. In the meantime, below is a detailed discussion on hearing aids and how they can help with hearing issues.
How Do Hearing Aids Function?
These tiny tech devices inserted in the ear only act as amplifiers. In other words, because your natural ability to hear has become quite a struggle, the hearing aids carry sound from the external environment through your inner ear and are finally interpreted by the brain. This is possible because the remaining healthy tiny hair cells inside the cochlea continue to play their role in transmitting sounds.
Furthermore, these hearing aids help your brain understand and interpret sounds it’s not heard in a long while. This is particularly crucial for persons who lost their hearing at some point in life. On the other hand, even for those born with neonatal auditory loss, a thorough examination by an audiologist can determine if hearing aids can make a positive difference.
What Notable Features Do Hearing Aids Provide to Improve Quality of Life?
One of the most beneficial features of hearing aids is the ability to tune out irrelevant background sounds. With advanced speech recognition algorithms, hearing aid wearers can participate in conversations without straining to listen. More modern hearing devices have added features that include automatic adjustment to any environment. Therefore, whether at a concert, busy restaurant or hike in the forest, the hearing aid can self-adjust to suit the place.
Furthermore, no longer do such wearers have to fumble for the correct button to change settings. With the advancement in technology, modern hearing devices can connect to smartphones as an enhanced feature. Others also have Bluetooth functionality for multipurpose connectivity. Unlike previous times where windy weather impacts sound quality, modern hearing aids no longer have to deal with that problem.
Perhaps, one notable feature of these enhanced hearing aids is the accuracy they provide for the wearer to know which direction a sound is coming from. That has also caused better balance among persons who are hard of hearing. You will find hearing aids that give a calmer feel by masking those perceived phantom sounds for anybody battling tinnitus.
Why Don’t They Restore Hearing to Normal?
Instead of completely restoring or curing your hearing loss, these aids boost your ears’ volume levels. In the absence of hearing loss, the brain is used to a specific way to receive signals and subsequently decode these messages. These signals must sound intelligible to the brain. However, when hearing loss sets in, sounds get distorted to a point where the brain cannot interpret them. In essence, your hearing aid becomes the middleman doing the preliminary work for the brain to make use of what was heard. Without these devices, your hearing loss remains the same.
More importantly, these hearing aids play a significant help in maintaining brain health. This is because, without them, the part of the brain which interprets sounds becomes dormant and cells there will become inactive. Moreover, science has proven that this part of the brain could shrink after long periods of inactivity. These are a few reasons why hearing aids are helpers and not cures.
Why They Improve Quality of Life
After years of dealing with hearing issues, those little devices you wear in your ears bring you back into the world of sounds. Now, you can be an active participant in conversations in person or on the phone. Additionally, you have an improved awareness of your environment, increasing your safety and security. Furthermore, you no longer have to feel isolated from people because you now sense acceptance and a familiarity with everyone around you.
In the same vein, hearing aids have made significant improvements in the lives of those who are hard of hearing. Unfortunately, these aids haven’t been the ultimate cure for hearing loss, but they have enhanced quality of life.
To learn more about your ears or perhaps get a hearing aid fitting, call Kirsch Audiology today at 310-586-5533.