If you are looking for more information on hearing aids or hearing loss, our experts at Accent Associates Hearing Aid Services Ltd would be glad to help. On this page, we have provided answers for commonly asked questions, but if you do not see an answer to your specific questions, please feel free to contact us.
What is a Hearing Aid?
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear. It makes some sounds louder so that a person with hearing loss can listen, communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities. A hearing aid can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situations. However, only about 1 out of 5 people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one. A hearing aid has 3 basic parts: a microphone, amplifier, and speaker. The hearing aid receives sound through a microphone, which converts the sound waves to electrical signals and sends them to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the signals and then sends them to the ear through a speaker.
How Can Hearing Aids Help?
Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells. This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines.
A hearing aid magnifies sound vibrations entering the ear. Surviving hair cells detect the larger vibrations and convert them into neural signals that are passed along to the brain. The greater the damage to a person’s hair cells, the more severe the hearing loss, and the greater the hearing aid amplification needed to make up the difference. However, there are practical limits to the amount of amplification a hearing aid can provide. In addition, if the inner ear is too damaged, even large vibrations will not be converted into neural signals. In this situation, a hearing aid would be ineffective.
How Can I Find Out If I Need a Hearing Aid?
If you think you might have hearing loss and could benefit from a hearing aid, visit your physician, who may refer you to an otolaryngologist or audiologist. An otolaryngologist is a physician who specializes in ear, nose, and throat disorders and will investigate the cause of the hearing loss. An audiologist is a hearing health professional who identifies and measures hearing loss and will perform a hearing test to assess the type and degree of loss.
7 Tips to Better Communication
1. Realize that large social groups, especially around a large dining room table are one of the most difficult environments for a person with hearing loss.
Be kind to yourself. Focus on the positive things that you can do and not on the negatives of what you have difficulty doing. Think the glass is half full, not half empty.
2. It is easier to talk with people one-on-one in a quiet environment than in a noisy living room.
3. When sitting down to dinner, make sure you choose a seat that is best for you! Here are some seating suggestions:
4. Conversation tips:
5. After-dinner strategies:
6. To drink or not to drink?
Some people’s lip reading skills tend to get worse when they drink. Some people’s lip reading skills tend to get better when they drink, because they’re more relaxed. And, of course, there are pros and cons of drinking that have an impact on mood. Be aware of what works best for you. And remember, if you do drink, do so responsibly and never drink and drive.
7. Assistive listening devices
There are assistive listening devices, such as personal amplifiers and auxiliary microphones that can help you hear in noisy environments. These can work either in conjunction with your hearing aid or cochlear implant or directly in your ears. They have been particularly helpful for older relatives who are left out of the loop in large family gatherings. If you need more information about these devices, please ask us!