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What Hearing Aid Users Hear

2016-03-24

What Hearing Aid Users Hear

Hearing aids do not restore hearing to typical levels. However, depending on the degree of hearing loss, hearing aids will enable a person to hear many sounds. This includes both environmental sounds such as the sound of a rattle or a dog barking and the sounds of speech. Regardless, hearing aids do not correct hearing as perfectly as glasses correct vision.

Although hearing aids have improved dramatically in recent years – some have built-in FM systems and directional microphones that can reduce background noise – individual sounds may be somewhat distorted. Because hearing aids amplify all sounds, including background noise, it still may be difficult to hear and understand speech in noisy situations unless an individual with hearing loss is standing close to the person who is speaking. Hearing aids must be utilized along with active listening and good communication strategies. Hearing benefit often improves over time as the individual adjusts to the sound and feel of hearing aids; consistent hearing aid use enables and enhances this process.

An important component of the hearing aid fitting process is the counseling the audiologist provides regarding active listening and realistic expectations of amplification. 

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