Hello readers! It’s Ryan O’Clair here. I’m head audiologist at the Blamey Saunders hears Brisbane clinic.
People sometimes want to know if hearing aids can make hearing loss worse. Here’s what I tell them:
Hearing aids are teeny tiny little computers, and they can do a lot! They are medical devices designed to provide clarity as well as comfort.
When properly prescribed, digital hearing aids will automatically adjust entirely on their own to the acoustic surroundings of the user. They shouldn’t damage your hearing further.
For example, from the very first initial fitting, Blamey Saunders hears hearing aids are programmed with safety protocols, output limits, as well as unique and personalised comfort levels for each individual’s preferences for sound.
For loud sounds to be helpful and clear they must be comfortable. That’s one of the key capabilities of our unique hearing aids. They’re programmed for audibility and comfortability (and ideally enjoyability). That means, in a high-noise environment, our hearing aids will only produce sounds to a certain degree, and if that loudness level continues, the hearing aid will gradually reduce the output of the device. All this happens simultaneously while preserving the audibility of speech.
Now, are hearing aids a suitable substitute for hearing protection?
Absolutely not! In a hazardous noise environment, protection is key. When in doubt, block it out! Always shield your ears from dangerous sounds.
Read 5 ways to combat hearing damage for Dr Saunders’ top hearing protection tips.
Lifestyle brand Wyza has also identified 5 ways you could be damaging your hearing without realising.