Just like with new glasses or braces, most new hearing aid wearers are a bit self-conscious and have some reservations when they first step out to face the world. It is common for new users to ask the question, “Will people notice my new hearing aid?” Because I believe in the value of hearing aids for providing greater independence and a higher quality of living, I do my best to provide plenty of assurance and encouragement to my new hearing aid patients in the Lake Charles community. As a part of my efforts, I want to respond to five common concerns most new hearing aid wearers have about their hearing aids and help you to overcome your feelings of self-consciousness.

Will People Notice My New Hearing Aid?

A massive, ugly, mechanical monstrosity from out of an alien-invasion sci-fi movie is the common image most of us have of hearing aids. While it is true that hearing aids were bulky, heavy, and ugly in the past, they have followed a similar path as cell phones. Micro-digital innovations have allowed hearing aid manufacturers to place higher performing technology in much smaller casings. Consequently, many hearing aids styles are invisible or nearly invisible, which means that most people will never know that you are wearing a hearing aid unless you tell them. In addition, even those more noticeable are less bulky and allow color choices to match your skin tone.

Are Hearing Aids a Lot of Trouble?

Everyone has a different opinion and different experience with hearing aids. They do require some basic cleaning and maintenance as well as some adjustments and getting used to in the first several weeks. However, today’s digital technology allows for enhanced performance capabilities and material technology has made it possible for them to be more comfortable to wear. Additionally, advanced models of hearing aids have the capacity to provide direct streaming from cell phones, televisions, stereo systems, and other electronics, allowing for greater control and efficiency for delivering optimized sound clarity at your fingertips.

Do Hearing Aids Increase Background Noise?

Amplified background noise was a drawback of analog hearing aids, which amplified all sound equally, but digital sound processing does not work in the same way. Digital processing includes directional microphones and noise cancellation features designed to distinguish and clarify speech while decreasing the volume of background noise.

What Is Up with that Annoying Whistling Sound?

The whistling noise made by hearing aids is similar to the sounds you hear coming from microphones and sound systems that are poorly setup or damaged. This type of feedback occurs in hearing aids when improperly inserted, if clothing, hair, or earwax produce interference, or if there is damage to wiring or circuitry. Again, digital technology has made this issue less common than it was with older analog hearing aids

Will a Hearing Aid Cure My Hearing Loss?

Hearing aids do not cure hearing loss, but they do restore the capacity to hear sounds with greater volume and clarity. Hearing aids are miniature amplifiers, which give sound signals a boost down the ear canal. This boost allows damaged sensory cells in the inner ear to pick up the sound signals and transmit them to the brain for processing. The overall effectiveness of hearing aids depends upon the severity of the damage to those sensory cells. Those with a mild hearing loss will see results close to nearly normal hearing where those with a severe hearing loss will have less dramatic results. However, research indicates that hearing aids slow or halt further damage to hearing as well as preventing mental health issues, cognitive decline and dementia, and other balance and vertigo issues related to inner ear damage.

Hearing aids are a major adjustment in a variety of different ways, which are the cause of some concerns for new users, but the benefits they provide far outweigh any of the inconveniences. Besides helping you to hear better, they improve overall mental and physical health while allowing for greater independence and an enriched quality of life. My colleagues and I at Acadian Hearing are here to provide support, encouragement, and assurance that your hearing aids represent the very best possible option for better hearing and better overall health. Contact us to learn more about the hearing aid solutions available from Acadian or to schedule an appointment today.

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Dr. Bridget B. Garrido, Au.D.

Dr. Bridget B. Garrido, Au.D.

Dr. Garrido joined the Acadian Hearing & Speech Services team in 1994. She received her doctorate of audiology from Salus University in Elkins Park, PA, a master’s degree in communication disorders from LSU Medical Center in New Orleans, and an undergraduate degree from LSU Baton Rouge. Dr. Garrido is certified nationally from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and holds Louisiana state licensure.