It’s not uncommon for patients to be wary of receiving hearing aids, because many people believe hearing aids actually further degenerate hearing ability. Before we go into the “whys” and “hows” of this myth, we can first say that hearing aids do not cause additional hearing loss. It’s a common misconception that unfortunately can affect some patients willingness to receive proper hearing treatment. Many people would be surprised to discover that hearing aids have actually been proven to sustain hearing ability for longer. |
Where does this myth come from, then?
Think about when you step out of a hot shower. The room temperature suddenly feels cold and dry. The room didn’t get any colder when you were in the shower: your body simply adjusted to the new temperatures of the hot water, and will have to re-adjust to room temperature environments.
This same sort of principle applies to hearing aids. Before receiving hearing aids, your body knows your decreased hearing ability as “normal.” But after receiving hearing aids, many patients have an adjustment period as their brain starts becoming used to heightened hearing ability. After wearing them for a few weeks, your brain settles into the heightened sounds amplified by the hearing aids as its new state of “normal”. When you remove the hearing aids, your new “normal” state is disrupted. You may suddenly feel like your natural hearing ability has become even worse,” when in reality, your body just hasn’t adjusted.
Hearing loss can be caused by many things, but the amplified sounds that hearing aids provide do not damage your ear or hearing function.
What actually causes hearing loss?
For the most part, hearing loss is caused by one of the following conditions:
Inner ear damage: Normal aging, as well as excessive exposure to loud noises, can damage the small hairs and nerve cells in the inner ear that transmit sound information to your brain. Once damaged, these small hairs cannot pass along information as effectively, or at all. Damaged inner ear hair cells cannot be regenerated.
Ear infection: an infection or disease that affects the inner, middle, or outer ear can cause permanent or temporary damage to the delicate structures that transmit noise information to the brain. Ruptured eardrum: loud, abrupt noise, pressure changes, or even infection can rupture your ear’s eardrum structure. While some patients can recover and regain hearing, other patients may experience long-term hearing loss side effects.
A buildup of earwax: Excessive earwax can block or muffle sound waves. Removal of earwax buildup can help restore normal hearing ability. Certain risk factors can increase a patient’s chances of developing hearing loss. These can include exposure to loud noises (whether occupational or recreational), older age, a family history of hearing loss, some illnesses (such as meningitis), as well as some medications including certain antibiotics and chemotherapy medications.
How can I learn more?
Do not let a fear of additional hearing loss keep you from receiving hearing treatment. If you suspect at all that your hearing ability is slipping, schedule a hearing test appointment at Ress ENT in Boca Raton, FL. We can help you safely treat hearing loss for improved quality of life with minimal, custom-fitted hearing appliances. Call us today at 561-353-7377.
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