Do You Need a Hearing Aid?
September 30, 2021

If you have had a hard time hearing another person talk on a cell phone, hearing an announcement at airports, or can't listen to a movie to the fullest extent in movie theaters - this may be a sign that you are experiencing hearing loss.

Hearing aids do not help cure hearing loss but act as a corrective measurement to help you overcome the degree of hearing loss you are experiencing. 

Visiting hearing care professionals like an audiologist, otolaryngologist, or an ear nose throat doctor may give you a hearing evaluation and schedule hearing tests to determine the type of hearing loss you may have. 

Devices like hearing aids (hearing amplifiers) or personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) may be recommended depending on the type of hearing loss. There are many different styles of hearing aids that are suited for people of all ages. 

Not only that, but a better understanding of hearing loss can also direct your search for what type of hearing aid you need.

Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss itself is when we naturally lose the ability to hear sounds at their native decibel levels. Every sound that we hear is a wave of energy traveling at a signature frequency with a very specific decibel level. This decibel level can be thought of as the force or the power of a sound wave. 

For instance, the roar of a throaty road hog has a naturally higher decibel level than the nearly audible hum of most electric motors. This represents not only decibels but decibel variance. For someone with moderate to moderately severe hearing loss, the roar of the motorcycle right next to them will be noticeable. That sound wave has a decibel level high enough to be recognized; for the same person, the hum of the electric motor may go unrecognized. 

This level of recognition is known as a decibel threshold. As a person loses their ability to hear, their natural decibel threshold will increase. As this threshold goes up, sounds at their native decibel level become unrecognizable.

The job of the hearing aid is to take these sounds that have fallen beneath the decibel threshold and boost them up to a recognizable level. 

Over the Counter vs. Prescription Hearing Aids

The main difference found in over-the-counter hearing aids and prescriptions is in the specific sounds that get boosted. While prescription hearing aids can hone in on specific frequencies that a person struggles to recognize and be programmed to these specific needs, they can also be cost-prohibitive for many people. 

Prescription hearing aids allow for their users to receive regular adjustments as their hearing needs change. 

All hearing aids have at least one microphone that helps pick up and process sound. Sound travels from the hearing aid to the inner ear. The sound is processed and amplified by a computer chip, and a signal is then sent to your ear. Depending on hearing aid manufacturers, many new hearing aids are digital and contain a rechargeable battery. 

Over-the-counter hearing aids may not offer the same level of specific programming, but our one-size-fits-all EV1 and EV3 still have cutting-edge technology that helps filter out unwanted background noise. This helps to filter out unwanted noise while boosting the frequencies that you care about. What’s more, is that you can still get a life-changing product without having to dish out thousands of dollars. 

“Amplification of sound is only one aspect of how hearing aids help. Audien hearing aids boast the latest technology.” - Drew Sutton, MD, Board-Certified Otolaryngologist.

Our current hearing aids can greatly improve your hearing loss and all for a low fee. 

In addition to the two different types of hearing aids, there are in-the-canal (ITC) and completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids. As far as styles go, there are in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids to choose from. Some basic parts and features that vary across the different types of hearing aids are volume control, repair warranty, a trial period, and customer service.

If you would like to learn more about hearing aids, click here. Audien Hearing is dedicated to helping you hear sounds like you should, at a low cost. 


Degree of Hearing Loss |

Hearing aids: How to choose the right one | mayoclinic

What Noises Cause Hearing Loss? | NCEH

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Drew Sutton M.D.

Drew Sutton, MD is a board-certified otolaryngologist. He has extensive experience and training in sinus and respiratory diseases, ear and skull base surgery, and pulmonary disorders. He has served as a Clinical Instructor at Grady Hospital Emory University for more than 12 years.

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