Understanding the Role of the Hearing Aid

Tinnitus hearing test

Statistics show that 13% of people in the U.S. who are 12 years old and over have some hearing loss, as shown by typical hearing exams. When researched, it is also shown that hearing loss is quite common in people of all ages. This includes three in ten people over the age of 60, as well as a surprising number of children under the age of 18. A hearing aid can be of great assistance to many people suffering from hearing loss; however, among people between the ages of 20 and 69 who would benefit from using a listening device, only 16% have actually used one. As for adults over 70, less than 30% who would profit from the use of hearing aids have ever tried using them.

When searching for hearing equipment, people will find that there are a couple of different types. A hearing aid is an electronic apparatus that is either placed in the ear or behind it. It enables the user to hear sounds more loudly so that they can hear more clearly and interact better with others. Wearing a hearing aid promotes easier participation on the part of a person who suffers from hearing loss.

Digital hearing aids are available and have become a popular device for people who need to improve their hearing. These hearing devices have a microphone that channels sound to a computer chip inside of them. The chip balances the volume and magnifies frequencies in order to help the person to be able to hear more normally. Amazingly, this hearing apparatus is able to be programmed to eliminate sounds like wind and background noise. For individuals who have a smart phone, the digital hearing aid can be synchronized with it in order to hear calls through the hearing aid itself, as well as to be able to adjust the hearing aid settings with the phone.

There are several common causes of hearing loss. One cause, which can be reversed, is fluid in the ears as a result of an infection. Another common reason is impacted ear wax which can be removed by a medical professional. Sometimes people need to take certain medications that cause some hearing loss, as well. This hearing loss, too, can be reversed. Irreversible hearing loss, usually experienced by older individuals, is often caused by either the aging process or by ongoing, or chronic, loud noise which damages the inner ear. Located inside the inner ear are tiny hair cells that receive sound vibrations and turn them into impulses which are then carried by nerve cells to the brain. Once the tiny hair cells inside the ear have been damaged, they are never able to be repaired. Under these circumstances a hearing aid does its best work!

An individual who has a family history of severe hearing loss will be at high risk for hearing loss as well, and will probably need frequent testing to monitor their hearing. In addition, out of 1,000 babies born, three are born with severe hearing loss; 90% of these babies are born to parents who have no hearing loss whatsoever.

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