If you clicked on this post hoping to hear that hearing aids heal hearing, then the short answer is no. However, there are still potential benefits from having hearing aids, because most times they help you understand what people are saying.
If you are hard of hearing, then hearing aids can come as a great blessing. However, it is important to know that they have their limitations. We wrote this post to help you understand more about these restrictions. That’s because there are degrees of hearing loss beyond which hearing aids are less effective.
The Degrees of Hearing in Headline Terms
Audiologists determine a client’s degree of hearing loss in these two ways:
- How loud a sound must be in order for them to detect it
- How this varies between lower and higher frequencies
There’s no cure for hard hearing, including difficulties with higher frequencies as is quite common with older people. However, there is one common denominator, and that is untreated hearing problems can lead to cognitive decline. That’s why audiologists believe every person who is hard of hearing should have a hearing aid.
MEASURING VOLUMES OF SOUNDS
Audiologists measure sound volume in decibels. The best way to explain this is by examples
- 115 -125 decibels= a rock concert
- 80 - 90 decibels = a petrol lawn mower
- 40 to 65 decibels = people chatting
- 10 – 15 decibels = your own breathing
People who are hard of hearing have lost the ability to hear quiet sounds. A digital hearing aid enables you to hear quieter sounds again. However, hearing aids do not solve hard of hearing difficulties permanently.
DEGREES OF HEARING LOSS IN A SINGLE EAR
- Profound hearing loss means you can only hear very loud conversations
- With severe loss you can’t understand people’s speech without lip reading
- Moderate hearing loss means you ask people to repeat themselves
- With mild hearing loss, loud noises mean you can’t understand some words
- Slight hearing loss means you can’t make out whispered conversations
The Limitations of Hearing Aids for Deaf People
Hearing aids process sounds by amplifying them. If you date back a while, you may recall days when music systems had separate amplifiers that improved sound quality. Digital hearing aids provide a similar service, and also allow users to increase the volume to compensate for their reduced decibel range.
Bu there’s a catch to this at a certain point, as happens with most technology. Turning up the volume increases the volume of the background sounds too. If your decibel loss is more than mild, you may have difficulty understanding some words from people speaking to you.
Hearing aids shouldn’t make you deaf, although sound amplifiers and very loud background sounds potentially could over an extended period. However, hearing aids do not heal hearing. When you take them off at night you are back to square one. That’s why the industry calls them hearing aids.
Deafness is the Inability to Understand Words
The biggest benefit of hearing aids is they clarify sounds so you can make out the meaning of spoken words again. If you are hard of hearing, then hearing aids could improve your word discrimination to the point you can conduct normal conversations again.
However, if your decibel loss is profound, you may need a cochlear implant, although this will not cure your hard of hearing problem permanently either. Cochlear implants, hearing aids, and sound amplifiers all aim to compensate for hearing loss, but for only as long as they are switched on.
Blue Angels Hearing Aids Don’t Completely Restore Hearing Loss Either
We designed our mid-range, fully digital aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. However, we feel it’s important to mention they work best in quiet environments. We can’t promise you won’t still need to lip read in noisy shopping malls.
We also can’t promise you won’t ever say ‘what’s that’ again when your mind was somewhere else. However, we can say with confidence that our Blue Angels hearing aids have made a deal of difference to more than 35,000 clients. And that’s based on their feedback to us.