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Can Hearing Aids Damage Hearing?
Many people wonder whether having hearing aids will actually damage their hearing more so than it is already? It's a fair question, as many people report that after a few weeks of wearing hearing aids when they take them out, their hearing seems worse than it did before. However, while it might seem that this is the case, it is not that your hearing gets worse, but rather your perception has changed.
It is just like when your eyes adjust to the light when you start to wear hearing aids; your brain has to readjust to the new levels of sound and recognize this as normal. At first, the volume and clarity of sounds can seem extremely loud, but once your brain has adjusted, and then you take your hearing aids out, your hearing loss becomes much more noticeable.
Adjusting to devices
Just like when you are in a dark room, your eyes adjust to the light, and at first, you can't see anything, but after a while, you start to see things, you can make out shapes and even colors. Then once you are out of the darkroom or you turn the light on, it is incredibly bright – brighter than normal and this is because your eyes need to adjust.
Once your eyes have adjusted you are able to see things clearly again, but if you turn the lights off again you can no longer see those shapes and colors until your eyes have adjusted again. This isn't because your vision has all of a sudden become worse, but because your brain and you can see things, even if it's just shapes and colors.
Then when you come out of the darkroom or turn the light on, it seems too bright because your eyes need time to adjust. But once they do, everything becomes much clearer. However, when you turn the lights back off again, you can no longer see those shapes and colors anymore. Your vision hasn't suddenly become worse, but your brain and your eyes have just taken time to adjust, and this is the same process as your ears, and your hearing aids.
It does make sense though that people have this perception because, after a couple of weeks of wearing hearing aids, you will get used to how well you can hear with them. Then you take them out, and first of all, the difference the hearing aids have made makes it seem like your own natural hearing has got worse, but it’s also easy to forget how bad your hearing was before. It is simply a misconception, and your brain is tricking you and wearing hearing aids has actually been proven to keep your hearing abilities sharper and delay the natural progression of hearing loss over time.
Gradual hearing loss
Hearing loss is something that happens gradually over time, and on average, people wait seven to ten years before they seek help from a hearing healthcare professional. During this time, their hearing will have gradually worsened, and the brain will have become more accustomed to hearing loss. At this point, you are so used to it, that you think that the level of hearing you have is normal and you don't realize that you are actually experiencing hearing loss.
There are also some concerns that hearing aids can damage your eardrums. This is not true, hearing aids are perfectly safe, but you do need to have them fitted properly by a professional and make sure the devices are programmed correctly too.
Once you have been fitted for your hearing aids, it doesn't mean that you can stop looking after your ears, you still need to be careful and protect your ears from loud noises, which can damage your eardrum.
Visit an audiologist
You should have your hearing aids fitted by an experienced audiologist who will program them to fit your personal level of hearing loss. If you have been wearing your hearing aids for a few weeks and you find them uncomfortable or find they're too loud or not loud enough, then you should see your audiologist to have them adjusted.
If your hearing aids are set to be louder than they need to be in order to compensate for your specific hearing loss, then these sound levels can cause noise damage. This often happens when people have bought their hearing aids online, so it really is important to go and see a hearing health professional. When fit properly and by a professional, hearing aids are not only safe, but they're also life-changing.
To learn more about Imagine Hearing Solutions, contact a member of our team, call today at (530) 392-4533.