Hearing aids help your brain to hear
Hearing aids are small computers that often work together to optimise the signal received by the brain. They constantly measure the sound environment and adjust the way they amplify to optimise hearing comfort and speech understanding and reduce listening effort. For example, they usually amplify quiet sounds more than loud sounds, and very loud sounds pass through the hearing aid and are not amplified.
Higher-level hearing aids have more automatic features to modify the sound to help you hear clearer and with less effort, especially in difficult listening environments.
Regular hearing aid use will help your brain “hear better.”
Interpreting sound information requires regular exposure. However, people who wear their hearing aids “only sometimes” expose their brain to two very different signals, hearing and not hearing, some sounds.
Their brain does not have as much practice interpreting sound information and will not learn to interpret the information.
Use it or lose it
Wearing hearing aids more often strengthens the auditory system by giving it more practice and helping it learn which sounds are important and which sounds are not.
The ability to understand speech, especially in noisy environments, often improves with increased wearing time.
The ability to discriminate words reduces over time – especially with significant hearing loss.
When there is hearing loss, the brain is not receiving a regular signal. As this continues for many years, the brain does not have as much practice using this information and becomes less capable of using the sound information. The brain may even reallocate those brain resources to another function.
The sooner you get hearing aids, the sooner you provide your auditory system with sound and keep it active and functioning as optimally as possible.
“I notice peoples ability to repeat back single words, in quiet, improves with regular hearing aid use.
This effect is strongest for people with more severe hearing losses.”
Maree O’Sullivan (Audiologist)
New hearing aids – Get ready for your hearing adventure.
Hearing aids are not just a volume control. Everything will not just sound louder, like when you turn up the TV. Hearing aids are programmed specifically to improve your hearing. They are set up and programmed to compensate for your specific hearing loss. They usually amplify quieter sounds more and louder sounds less, or not at all. You will pick up sounds you had forgotten about as you have been unable to detect them for years.
The sound level and the way hearing aids amplify is constantly changing depending on the listening environment you are in. This is because they detect the environment and optimise the sound directed to your ears, which helps your brain use the sound information.
We must match the right level of technology to your listening needs. For example, well-fitted hearing aids will help you "confidently" hear what is said - the first time. This means you will not need to keep doing mental calculations to work out what they could have said, and no need to ask for repeats.
Most hearing aids will work well in easy listening environments. Higher-end hearing aids give a more refined sound and allow you to sound clearly and in more detail. This leads to reduced listening effort for the wearer. Higher-end hearing aids give better results in difficult listening environments like noisy and echoey rooms.
Are you ready for your own hearing adventure?
Are you are at the point where you are ready to do something to help your hearing? Then, you are welcome to make an appointment for a hearing assessment and hearing aid consultation.
During the appointment, we will program some hearing aids up, especially for your hearing levels, and experience the new and clearer sound.
If there is time, you can even go next door to the cafe for a coffee so you can see what it is like to hear clearly even in noise.