Can Hearing Aids Damage Hearing?

Hearing aids are supposed to improve your ability to hear. Still, there are dangerous ways to use hearing aids and some people have reported negative effects from wearing them.

Our hearing is incredibly sensitive at birth. It naturally degrades as we age, depending on environmental and inherited factors. In fact, it is so sensitive that extremely loud noises damage it. You can compare this to driving an automobile at top speed all day long.

In this article, we explore whether hearing aids can damage your hearing.

Can Hearing Aids Make Sounds Too Loud?

From time-to-time folks write us and ask, ‘your hearing aids amplify sounds. Does this mean your hearing aids could damage my hearing’? Now the word ‘amplify’ has several meanings and we need to explain this first.

  • Amplifying, in the context of sound, can mean turning up the volume, for example at a sports stadium so everybody can hear the announcements.
  • Personal sound amplifiers, which look like hearing aids, also increase the volume so users can listen to music without disturbing the rest of the house.
  • However, amplify can also mean adding detail to a statement, for example ‘please explain this aspect of hearing’ in more detail as we are doing here.
  • Proper hearing aids - as opposed to personal sound amplifiers – make sounds, especially conversation more understandable by ‘expanding’ it.

Therefore, hearing aids should not damage hearing. However, this can be a downside to the personal sound amplifiers some affiliate suppliers market as ‘hearing aids’ in their descriptions.

How Loud Sounds Can Damage Our Hearing

There’s more sense to our impulsive urge to cover our ears during loud noises than we may think. That’s because our hands are reducing the amount of volume traveling down our ear canals. This damage can occur in one of two ways (or both).

  • Single exposure to loud-sound impulses, for example, from explosive blasts, fireworks, gunfire, or sirens according to Healthy Hearing Foundation.
  • Continuous exposure to loud noises, for example, music from headphones / personal sound amplifiers, machinery, and pop music festivals.

In a nut shell, it’s unlikely a pair of digital hearing aids will hurt you if you use them correctly. However, you should also keep away from loud noises as a precaution.

How Loud Noises Get Past Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are conversation amplifiers, not earmuffs, in fact they are the opposite. This means, according to Beltone they can improve our reception of sounds we prefer not to hear. Noises like dogs barking in the neighborhood while we are trying to think or a child screaming in a supermarket aisle.

Those sounds are a nuisance. However, sound waves from exceptionally loud noises can amplify to a risky point. That’s a stage where they could bypass our hearing aids and damage our hearing, as if we were not wearing them.

But this is not a question of them being bad hearing aids.  It’s a matter of taking sensible precautions to protect your hearing, as you may now wish you did when you were young.

Avoiding Potential Negatives of Hearing Aids in Noisy Environments

Hearing aids are simple devices engineered to help wearers hear conversations better. Therefore, we need to use common sense just as we do when driving cars and preparing food in the kitchen.

Beltone says it makes sense to avoid wearing aids in very noisy environments, like watching movies in a cinema, sitting close to the stage at a symphony concert, watching airplanes take off and land at an airport terminal, or using woodworking machinery.  

We saw a post on Quora that wrapped this up. The writer explained how-poorly fitted hearing aids can admit very loud sounds past them. This is yet another reason not to purchase used hearing aids. It is also why Blue Angels supplies three earbud sizes with every hearing aid so they fit you properly.

Wrapping Things Up:  Can Hearing Aids Damage Hearing?

Decent quality digital hearing aids should never damage your hearing when used correctly. In fact, they are extremely beneficial and will drastically improve your hearing and quality of life. 

However, it is true that some hearing aids may have downsides such as:

  • Some hearing aids have advanced features you are probably never going use, in which case you end up paying more for something you do not need.
  • Other hearing aids may only be available from hearing boutiques, where the price triples to cover the audiologist and administration overheads.
  • They may be covert personal listening devices that could deafen you. Or they may not be rechargable and you have to keep purchasing replacement batteries.

The Elegant Blue Angels Solution Work Around

Blue Angels Hearing sells three grades of genuine, rechargeable digital hearing aids, costing between $297.99 and $597.99 a pair, and including delivery charges and accessories. They price that low because we avoid the audiologist cost, and the expenses.

They are basic, entry-level products without the apps, gadgets and gizmos you may never need. In fact, the vast majority of clients are completely content because they hear conversations better. And that, after all is the purpose of hearing aids.

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