Can a Hearing Aid Restore Hearing Completely?
A hearing aid can represent a truly life-changing treatment for those who experience hearing loss. The ability to better hear the world around you and to communicate much more effectively with friends, family and coworkers can have a great effect on your quality of life. However, for audiologists, it is important that patients have realistic ideas of what to expect from their treatment.
Here, we’re going to look at what you can expect from your hearing aids, how they can improve your hearing and whether or not they can effectively undo the impacts of hearing loss.
Can a hearing aid restore your hearing completely?
To put it simply: no, hearing aids cannot restore your hearing completely. They do not have the ability to cure your hearing loss, nor do they have the ability to make your hearing like normal while you are wearing them. However, there is no denying their ability to greatly improve your hearing and ability to understand speech and noises around you.
What hearing aids can do is help in restoring normal hearing levels for a wide range of activities that you might have had trouble with. As such, they are still the recommended treatment of choice for the vast majority of types of hearing loss. They can provide significant improvements when it comes to understanding speech, and supporting near-normal hearing functions.
How hearing aids work
To get to the bottom of what effect hearing aids can have, it’s important to have an understanding of how they work. In most cases, they work as more complicated amplifiers. They have microphones that face out from the ear and complex processing hardware that turns those sounds into digital data and amplifies them to match a specific hearing profile. Then, it plays those sounds louder through a speaker.
Hearing loss is often caused by the damage or hair cells in the ear that transfer sounds as electrical signals to the brain. When these are damaged, they are less able to pick up and transfer those sounds. Amplifying those sounds with a hearing aid can help you more effectively reach the remaining healthy hair cells.
What you can expect from your hearing aids
How hearing aids work is a little complex than straight-up amplification, however. Most modern hearing aids have highly advanced technology that allows them to, for instance, help you hear speech better with speech recognition algorithms. As such, they may be able to reduce the levels of background noise so you can specifically hear the speech of the person you’re talking to. Similarly, there are hearing aids that come with features that can reduce wind noise, to cancel out the tinnitus often associated with hearing loss, and fulfill a range of other needs.
To make sure that you’re getting the hearing aids that best fit your needs, you need the help of an audiologist. They can get to know your needs, such as what you do for hobbies, where you work and what kind of environment you live in. From there, they can help you select the hearing aids that match both your level of hearing loss and your lifestyle needs.
Can anything restore your hearing to normal?
As it stands, there are no existing technologies or treatments that have the ability to heal hearing loss or to completely restore your hearing. Hearing aids are the most effective treatment for a lot of people, even those with severe loss of hearing, and while they can restore the volume of your hearing to normal, you are not going to be able to hear as you once could while wearing them.
This difference in natural hearing and hearing with a hearing aid is largely due to how hearing loss works. Not only does it reduce your ability to hear at different volumes and pitches, but it also distorts the way that your brain interprets sounds as well. As such, the brain will perceive certain sounds as distorted, which cannot be helped by amplification, no matter how complex the processes behind it. As it stands, hearing aids are the best solution around for most people with hearing loss.
Find out what a hearing aid can do for you with the help of your audiologist
If you experience hearing loss, do not underestimate the impact a hearing aid can have for you. Just because it cannot completely restore your hearing doesn’t mean that it’s not worth getting one for yourself. To learn more about what a hearing aid could do for you or to arrange a fitting for one, get in touch with House of Hearing at 801-221-1220.