Solutions beyond hearing aids

Many people living with hearing loss use hearing aids.While hearing aids may help people with mild hearing loss, however you may find that high quality digital hearing aids aren’t enough. This is because hearing aids only amplify sounds. Making sounds louder does not always make them clearer.

If hearing aids aren’t enough

Hearing aids are better suited to people with minor to mild hearing issues1. Cochlear implants, by contrast, may be suitable for people who are moderately to profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing2-3. Both hearing aids and Cochlear implants are designed for people of all ages.

Unlike hearing aids, Cochlear implants send the information directly to the hearing nerve fibres, bypassing the damaged cells in the ear. This results in clearer sounds.

The earlier hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner an effective solution can be provided to improve hearing.

When to reassess your hearing aid

If you currently use a hearing aid, there are a number of signs that indicate you may need a different hearing solution, such as a Cochlear implant. These include:

  • Difficulty participating in conversations, especially when there is background noise like a car engine, music or a crowd.
  • Continually asking people to repeat what they have said.
  • Difficulty hearing over the telephone.
  • Relying on lip reading to understand what is being said.
  • Needing to turn up the volume on the television much louder than others need it.
  • Music sounding more like white noise.
  • Being unsure which direction sound is coming from.

Hearing loss can negatively impact the quality of life, but there are solutions available. Speak with your audiologist to reassess your hearing needs. They will be able to review your current hearing aid fitting, determine if your hearing has diminished and assess if your hearing needs have changed to the point where they would recommend you consider getting a cochlear implant.

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  1. Action on Hearing Loss. Action needed on hearing loss: Government solutions for a growing problem. 2011.  Available at: www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk
  2. Lamb B, Archibold S. Adult Cochlear Implantation: Evidence and Experience. The Ear Foundation, 2013
  3. Steffens et al. Hearing in the Elderly: Cochlear Implants in Comparison to Hearing Aids. Audiology & Neurotology 2011;17:6-7

 

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Hearing health specialists can talk to you about your treatment options, and discuss any further steps for preventing or limiting hearing loss.

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