Over the years, I have answered many questions about hearing aids. Nowadays, with all the information floating around out there, it’s hard to know who is providing the best advice.
Here, I’ve collected the most common questions that I, myself, have not only answered but experienced firsthand as an audiologist.
If you’re concerned about the consequences of getting hearing aids, then let me answer your questions. If you have any you would like to add to this list, then please let me know, we would be happy to address any questions or concerns that you have.
1) Can Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus?
Yes! When a patient has a hearing loss accompanied by tinnitus, we often see that simply wearing hearing aids causes a great deal of relief from the tinnitus.
Giving the brain more external sound to listen to can cause it to become distracted and notice the tinnitus less. Also, the hearing aid itself makes some circuit noise which can mask tinnitus.
Hearing aids also typically contain tinnitus programming. They have direct streaming capabilities from smartphone to hearing devices. Different programs may be designed to stream sounds. This gives the patient relief from the disturbance they get from tinnitus.
3) Can Hearing Aids Make Tinnitus Worse?
The only way hearing aids can make tinnitus worse would be if they are over amplifying sounds. This happens when a hearing aid is fit inaccurately or when a person is around extreme noise while wearing their hearing devices.
Over-the-counter hearing aids (OTCs) might be programmed incorrectly if an audiologist did not perform a diagnostic hearing test. Incorrect diagnosis leads to faulty programming and could cause further damage to a person’s hearing.
If a patient is seen by an audiologist and diagnosed appropriately, hearing aids should not make tinnitus worse.
4) Can Hearing Aids Cause Ear Infections?
Not typically. Suppose a patient is prone to outer ear infections (i.e., otitis externa or swimmer’s ear) and continues to wear a very closed type of hearing aid (not allowing any air into the ear canal). In that case, this could aggravate their already existing condition.
A thorough case history with a doctor of audiology should determine this.
In most cases, a hearing aid should be recommended that would be less likely to irritate this type of ear canal.
5) Can Hearing Aids Cause Headaches?
Hearing aids do not cause headaches. However, if a patient is prone to migraine headaches, they may be very sensitive to sounds at certain times.
Utilizing the app to control volume during these episodes could be very helpful.
6) Can Hearing Aids Prevent Dementia?
Early detection and treatment of hearing loss are very important.
When a person has normal hearing, sounds stimulate their auditory cortex constantly, which is good exercise for the brain.
When a person has an untreated hearing loss, that auditory cortex is stimulated less and less over time, causing it to fatigue. This lack of stimulation has been found to contribute to dementia, among other cognitive conditions.
Take Action Now To Prevent Future Issues
Prevention is our biggest weapon against hearing loss. No matter your age, we encourage everyone in West Texas to please come and see us for a comprehensive hearing assessment.
This will establish a baseline for us to diagnose future problems should they arise. If you have any questions, please give us a call, and one of us would be happy to discuss your situation.
Your hearing is too important to neglect.