Hearing aids provide excellent clear sound for millions of people who, although not completely deaf, would otherwise struggle to hear most voices or daily sounds around them. In some cases, the hearing aid might be the only bridge between a person’s ability to hear anything in the world going on around them!
However, there are also many concerns that patients have about hearing aids. These are some pretty serious pieces of technology, and patients may wonder if they truly work the way that they’re supposed to, or if there could be potential issues with them creating more noises and even fear of them causing deafness.
How Do Hearing Aids Work?
All hearing aids, whether analog or digital in nature, are made of three main parts. These are the microphones to capture the sound, the amplifier to make that sound louder via electric or digital pulses, and the receiver, which interprets those pulses to the brain.
This is how actual sounds can be heard despite the actual hearing loss. Understanding how this works is critical to understanding why people are concerned about hearing aids making hearing loss work and understanding if this is a valid concern or not
Can Hearing Aids Further Hearing Damage?
This question comes from a simple and seemingly logical concern. Hearing loss comes from exposure to a lot of noise, especially loud noise. Hearing aids help to pick up sounds people can no longer hear without help, and many notice that life seems really loud the moment they get the new hearing aid.
Could this new barrage of sound actually increase the problems that patients with hearing loss were trying to fix? According to Toronto hearing aids specialists, House of Hearing, the short answer is no, although there are some asterisks and considerations with that.
The first thing to understand is that, depending on the hearing loss causes, there is a good chance that a patient’s hearing was going to continue to deteriorate over time. This would have happened whether that person acquired a hearing aid or not. Obviously noticing the decline is much easier when you can hear again and then notice it fade, instead of just not hearing at all for a long time.
Another important detail to remember is that as long as the hearing aid is correctly matched with a patient then this will not result in too much noise coming in. A doctor would not intentionally create settings that could further cause hearing issues down the line. However, batteries to hearing aids do fade over time, and it is possible that some people may mistake this simple issue as being further loss of hearing. However, they just need a replacement battery to get back on track.
Perception Make a Huge Difference, Too
Perhaps one of the most important points to tackle when looking at whether hearing aids can cause hearing damage or deafness goes back to the idea of perception.
Most people don’t look for help with their deafness until some serious damage is already done. This means it may have been a while since they heard just how noisy life really is. A hearing aid not only brings back all that noise in full force (including long unheard background noises) but hearing aids don’t have the ability to filter out background sounds the way a regular ear to brain connection does.
This means that even if the sound levels are the same, often a person with a hearing aid will feel like the noise levels are much louder and more chaotic. This perception can give the feeling that they are being exposed to too much sound, which in turn brings up the paranoia of possible deafness.
There are always going to be questions when looking at important health aids like hearing aids, but the good news is that when it comes to the question of “Do hearing aids cause deafness?” the answer, in our opinion, is a resounding no!