Six Factors that Affect Hearing Aid Performance
In some ways, your hearing aid functions much like a pair of eyeglasses. Eyeglasses can only return your eyesight to “normal”, but it can’t restore your sight if you’re blind. Hearing aids work the same way. You can’t improve your hearing if you are totally deaf.
But while eyeglasses can give you 20/20 eyesight, that’s not the case with your hearing aid. It can improve your hearing and allow you to engage in conversation, but your hearing even with the aid is still not quite normal.
You may still find yourself having to endure some problems even with the hearing aidprescribed by your audiologist. How you engage in conversations will depend on a number of factors:
- The severity of your hearing loss. The hearing aidcan only restore some hearing, but it can’t make you hear as well as other people can. This is what makes these devices different from eyeglasses, which can be very thick so that people can still see and read normally.
- How much your hearing loss has affected the clarity of your hearing. This is known as speech discrimination. This is a measurement of how well you understand if the words are loud enough. If you score 50%, for example, then you understand half of what you hear. The other half is gibberish.
- How often you wear your hearing aids. It takes several weeks of continuous wearing before you can adjust to the hearing aids. If you don’t wear them constantly, you’ll always be disoriented when you do wear them. This adjustment period is necessary if you want to maximize the benefits of your hearing aids.
- How well other people communicate with you. Having a conversation is a two-way street, so if you are wearing hearing aids then the people you are talking to should make it easier for you. They should speak clearly and not mumble their words, and they should speak to you face to face so that you can add lip-reading to understand the words.
- The level of the background noise when you are engaged in conversation. Background noise can be a problem even for normal conversation, so it stands to reason that it poses a challenge when you talk in a noisy place even with your hearing aids. Having a conversation in a noisy club or in a repair shop can really be problematic.
- The acoustics of the room you’re in. Some rooms muffle the sounds, but others have excellent acoustics (like your bathroom, for instance) which can really make words sound crispier.
So if you are having trouble having a normal conversation, you shouldn’t blame your hearing aid. Some other factors may be causing the difficulties.
HK Hearing & Speech Centre
Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,
and Hearing Aids Prescription
[ad] Empty ad slot (#1)!