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Who Can Benefit from Hearing Aids?

Feb 1, 2008
A hearing aid is just an instrument that amplifies sound waves enough to be processed by the components of our hearing system. In many persons a natural loss of hearing occurs with the aging process. Occasionally some people are born with defective or missing components and that results in the inability to hear anything at all. This type of hearing loss will not be improved through the use of typical hearing aids offered to the general public.

Most often the onset of hearing loss is slow and gradual. As a result of that slow process and gradual degradation of hearing, some people may not even realize the fact that the hearing abilities are diminished until a very significant loss has occurred. In the early stages of loss of hearing many are not even aware of the fact that they could benefit from the assistance of a hearing aid.

On the other hand, some people are very aware of the fact that they have suffered significant hearing loss but resign themselves to living with diminished hearing capabilities. They simply prefer to live with the loss without assistance and are determined to live with the disability.

When Do You Need One?

Some instances of hearing loss are short term resulting from exposure to loud noises or due to something blocking the ear canal. Blockages can be cleared and minor damage often repairs without assistance. These types of hearing loss do not indicate the the need for a hearing aid. Some forms of damage caused by periods of exposure to excessive noise levels will mend itself over a brief recovery period.

It should be noted that even repeated exposures of this type will eventually lead to more permanent hearing loss and the inability of the system to fully recover. Physical obstructions are generally a temporary disability that can be by a thorough irrigation of the ear canals or by removing any objects that may be blocking the canals. When these circumstances are the cause of hearing loss, a hearing aid would not be beneficial.

Ongoing hearing loss that is experienced over extended periods of time where there is no apparent external physical damage would be a sign of the need for more serious and long term action. In these instances, a full examination should be conducted by a hearing specialist or audiologist. This will require a very thorough evaluation. These usually entail tests for hearing capabilities through a wide range of frequencies. In many cases of hearing loss, not all hearing frequencies are affected.

The testing equipment available today permits hearing aids to be finely tuned and is capable of amplifying sounds in targeted frequencies ranges. This capability means that only sounds that require amplification are modified. The end result is that the sound reproduction more closely represents the natural hearing system.

Many Styles and Applications

The options for hearing aids actually vary considerably. You will find lower cost hearing aids that have been commonly available for many years. These are not tuned for specific frequencies and amplify all sound. In recent years, the specific frequency tuning capability has allowed a much more acceptable alternative. Other features to consider include various physical applications that permit mounting behind the ear, completely inside the ear canal or a compromise between these two styles.

By consulting with a specialist an audiologist or hearing aid technician, you will be able to determine what your specific hearing aid needs are and what style can fit your budget.
About the Author
For more information about Hearing Aids please visit Hearing Aids
For more information about Senior Health please visit Eldercare
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