This is a question that has been raised so many times by hearing aid users across the world. The simple answer to it is - hearing aids obviously do not make people ‘deafer’. They do nothing other than amplifying the sounds and delivering them into your ears.
Why does this Question Even Arise in the First Place?
There is a trick of perception involved here, which is the fact that after wearing hearing aids for a few weeks, some people have complained that they cannot hear as well as they used to do before wearing them. This made them have the wrong notion that hearing aids can make a person deafer. This misconception occurs because the brain plays the main trick here.
A Trick?! Oh No!
Studies show that on an average, people experiencing hearing loss wait for five to seven years before realising the fact that treatment is necessary because things have grown worse. This makes the brain more and more accustomed to hearing loss, as it has started to forget certain sounds as it did not hear them for a prolonged period of time. This condition is called Auditory Deprivation, where the brain starts forgetting sounds it did not hear for a long time, and hence is unable to recognise them anymore. As a result, the brain has started to accept this condition as normal. Therefore, it will take some time for the brain to accept this new situation after wearing hearing aids, as all the sounds are now new to the brain.
When you wear hearing aids for the first time, the brain needs time to get accustomed to these new world of sounds, and to adjust to the new ‘normal’ levels of your hearing abilities. This is the reason why sounds might appear to be jarring and excessively loud, especially if you are opting for hearing aids after a long period of living with untreated hearing loss. Just as your eyes need to adjust to the ‘new’ vision after wearing spectacles, similar is the case with your new hearing aids. Once you brain gets adapts itself to this new world, things will be normal again. However, you must always keep in mind that once you have had a hearing loss, it cannot be cured; it can only be treated. The hearing aids can do nothing more but to help you listen to the sounds which you otherwise were unable to. So it is always advised to get a timely treatment from a highly qualified Audiologist for any kind of hearing problems.
The Trick is to Fit Your Hearing Aids Properly
Before blaming and cursing your hearing aids, make sure that they are properly fitted inside your ear canal. If a trained healthcare professional fits your device, they will do so after adjusting and modifying its settings as per your hearing requirements. It means that no matter how loud the sounds might be, they would not appear so loud as your device’s volume levels have been fine-tuned and customised according to your personal needs. The modern day digital hearing aids are designed in such a way that it reduces the intensity of excessively loud decibels of sounds.
However, improperly fitted hearing devices tend to create feedback sounds that are quite annoying for the user. These sounds not only deteriorate the overall listening experience of the user, but might also affect the hearing health of the person due to exposure to such annoying and disturbing noises he/she is hearing all the time. Again this could make the brain accustomed to these distorted sounds, and will start forgetting the natural sounds of everything.
Children Are More Vulnerable to Health Deterioration
In case of children, especially, if their hearing aids produce such disturbing feedback noises and are not given the access to hear properly and clearly, they might not develop speech and language skills properly. It is because at the age of 1-2 years, due to the presence of the maximum amount of synaptic density (interconnections of the neurons in the brain), they are the most capable of learning at this age. So it is very important to provide your child full and proper access to the world of sound, as it is the key element that would guide him/her into developing speech, language and other developmental skills. Therefore, you as a responsible parent of a hearing impaired child, must make sure that the hearing aids are properly working and your child is not prone to any annoying feedback sounds. Growing up with disturbing sounds occurring every time in the ears, would also distort every other developmental skills that they are trying to learn. You don’t want that to happen right?
Cheap Hearing Aids Online are a Complete NO NO!
One important tip is to never buy cheap hearing aids online, without consulting a qualified Audiologist. If you do, then you will be more vulnerable to these whistling feedback sounds that is harmful for your ears, especially when you are hearing them almost all the time throughout the day. This will not only make you have negative thoughts about hearing aids instead of experiencing so many advantages and benefits of using them, and might propel you into giving up wearing them altogether. This is even more harmful for your ears, and in that case hearing aids can backfire on you instead of showing positive outcomes. Also, it might lead to Auditory Deprivation, which in turn gradually degrades your mental health.
So it is your responsibility to make sure that your device is properly fitted in your ear canal by an experienced Audiologist.
So What did You Decide?
Are you still planning to buy cheap hearing aids without consulting an Audiologist? If so, then do not expect any positive outcomes with them. Now it is upto you whether you will proceed towards entering the beautiful world of sound that you have been missing for so long, or take steps towards deteriorating your hearing health, and your quality of life as a result.