Hearing Aid

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Are Hearing Aids Useful in Tinnitus Relief?

The use of hearing aids for tinnitus relief seems counterintuitive. Hearing aids, after all, increase the clarity and volume of the environmental sounds possibly resulting in worsening tinnitus. But this isn’t the case, surprisingly so, and here’s why.


Tinnitus as a Symptom

Before you think that you have tinnitus, you should first know what it is and what it isn’t. According to the American Tinnitus Association, tinnitus is a condition wherein the affected person hears sounds inside his ears or head without an external source.


These are phantom sounds that seem real, as well as annoying and frustrating as these adversely impact daily life.  These can take the form of hissing, buzzing, ringing and clicking with varying duration and intensity.


If it’s any consolation, tinnitus affects an estimated 50 million Americans albeit in varying degrees and duration. Also, it isn’t a disease or a disorder in itself – instead, it’s a symptom of an underlying health issue. It can be caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises, extreme stress, and head colds, as well as sinus or ear infections and hearing loss.


In fact, people who have hearing loss are more likely to experience tinnitus more frequently. This is because their world, in a manner of speaking, is quieter with little environmental sounds penetrating it.


Hearing Aids for Relief

How then does hearing aids provide relief against tinnitus? Hearing aids amplify and clarify external sounds that, in turn, makes it easier for the wearer to make distinctions between several sounds. When a person with tinnitus wears hearing aids, the amplification of the external sounds will mask the buzzing, clicking or ringing sounds.


The hearing aids allows for better hearing ability of the desired external sounds, such as voices of other people, music and birds chirping. This means the phantom sounds brought by tinnitus are relegated to the background and, thus, become less annoying.


There’s also the matter of brain training. By wearing hearing aids, you’re basically retraining your brain so that it can ignore the phantom sounds in your ear. The longer you wear hearing aids, the better you can manage your tinnitus symptoms.


Of course, the assumption here is that the hearing aids are properly fitted and customized according to your specific hearing issues. You are well-advised to buy customized hearing aids despite their more expensive price because these can be customized. You will be able to hear well while also minimizing the side effects of wearing these devices.


Even if you don’t have hearing loss, hearing aids can be used in the management of tinnitus symptoms. Ask your audiologist about hearing aids that produce white noise and other sounds that provide relief, such as ocean waves. You won’t have to suffer from hearing phantom noises after a while of using them.


If you think your family or you need a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


Are Your Hearing Aids Worsening Your Hearing Loss?

Hearing aids are supposed to make their users hear better and, thus, communicate better. But many people, usually newbies, report that they can’t hear as well as they did before they used hearing aids. They seemed to hear less environmental sounds even with their hearing aids turned on at nearly full volume.


So, do hearing aids actually cause a worsening of hearing loss?  The short answer: No. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why it seems to be so and why it isn’t so actually.


It’s a Matter of Perception

The human brain can play tricks and it’s something that psychologists, magicians and con men know all too well. This is the reason why some users of hearing aids express concern that their hearing ability decreased after wearing these devices for a few weeks. They further assert that they were better off without hearing aids.


In reality, their brains are tricking them into thinking so! On average, persons with progressive hearing loss will live with their condition for 7-10 years before seeking professional intervention. Their hearing ability gradually worsened through the years, perhaps aggravated by improper ear care like poking the ear canal with cotton buds.


As the years pass without proper medical intervention, their brains become more and more accustomed to their decreased hearing ability. They then start thinking that their current hearing ability is normal – well, at least, normal according to their own perception.


What happens when they start wearing hearing aids? Well, if you’re new to these devices, you will be unaccustomed to the sound clarity and volume of the environmental sounds. Your brain starts to readjust to the better sound quality and consider it as the new normal.


When that happens, the severity of your hearing loss becomes significantly noticeable without your hearing aids on. You will then think that the hearing aids worsened your hearing loss!


But wear your hearing aids again and your ability to hear environmental sounds increases.


It’s a Matter of Customization

But improperly fitted hearing aids can make it seem like, indeed, your hearing loss is worsening. You may experience feedback from these devices, perhaps even suffer from headaches and tinnitus caused by the feedback. You won’t want to wear your hearing aids anymore because their side effects seem to be outweighed by their benefits.


You should then consult with your audiologist about making adjustments to address the issues of poor physical fit and poor customization to your specific hearing issues.  Hearing aids are effective because these amplify and process sounds in a way that makes them sound better in your ears.


But their efficacy only works when they are customized to your specific hearing loss. So if you think that your new hearing aids are aggravating your hearing loss, you have to consult with your audiologist.


Hearing aids may be expensive, partly because of the customization costs, but they are well worth their cost.  If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure to get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


Hearing Aids Aren’t Just About the Benefits

While people with hearing loss will benefit from the use of hearing aids, these devices have their side effects, too. These side effects have significant adverse impact on the quality of life of their users, from headaches and tinnitus to feedback. Fortunately, there are certain measures that can be done to minimize these side effects.


The Side Effects in Brief

Keep in mind that every individual will experience these side effects in a unique manner. You may, for example, suffer from intermittent headaches and tinnitus but not from itchiness in your ears. Your headaches, furthermore, may be mild in contrast with other hearing aid users with moderate severity.


  • Headaches and tinnitus

Newbies are more likely to experience headaches and tinnitus because the volume of their hearing aids aren’t properly set yet. There’s also the matter of getting accustomed to the hearing aids so much so that ordinary sounds seem abnormally loud or annoying.


  • Discomfort, soreness and irritation

Since hearing aids are placed inside the ear canal, these can cause discomfort for a week or so. Your ears are still adjusting to the foreign object, and it can be worsened when the hearing aids are too tight or too loose. Too tight and the hearing aids rub on the skin; too loose and these can slip and slide.


  • Itchiness in the ear canal

The itching in your ear canal can be caused by dry skin and you will be tempted to take out your hearing aids to scratch the itch. But we strongly advise otherwise because sticking a finger or a cotton but into your ear canal can worsen the damage in your ears.


  • Feedback

Hearing aids are highly sensitive instruments that can be affected by environmental noise and mishandling. This can result in feedback, such as crackling and whistling sounds, even heightened sounds from ordinary activities. This can also be caused by the improper sound quality and level.


If you experience these side effects even when it’s your second set of hearing aids, you shouldn’t worry about it. Every pair of hearing aids is unique so adjustments will likely be necessary.


The Countermeasures Against These Side Effects

Your first step is to discuss your concerns and complaints about your hearing aids with your audiologist. Every side effect has a countermeasure to minimize or prevent it so there’s hope.


A few of these countermeasures are discussed below.  

  • Work with your audiologist to ensure that your hearing aids are properly fitted
  • Take good care of your hearing aids
  • Moisturize your ear canal with drops or spray to lessen the itching
  • Learn and understand the features on your hearing aids so that you can adjust the volume quality and level
  • Consult with your doctor about persistent headaches, tinnitus and discomfort


Hearing aids are tools and just like any other tool, it’s your responsibility to know its proper use and maintenance.


If you think you need a hearing aid, make sure that you get a hearing aid prescription. For more details of our hearing test & assessment, and hearing aid services, please contact HK Hearing & Speech Centre.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


These Aren’t Bells And Whistles On Hearing Aids!

Basic hearing aids and cochlear implants are, of course, still useful in better hearing for hearing-impaired individuals. But modern hearing aid technology provides them with more features that give them more control over what they hear, when they hear it, and how loud they hear it! Yes, these features may initially seem like bells and whistles, especially since these add to the cost, but these are crucial in better hearing.


Directional Microphones


Background noise is among the biggest hurdles that hearing-impaired people deal with on a daily basis, said noise of which can include crackles, hisses and buzz resembling tinnitus. While it’s harmless, it can drown out the sounds that you want to hear like your family and friends’ conversations, music, and incoming traffic.


The problem, fortunately, can be solved with directional microphones that work in two

complementary ways. First, these pick up and amplify sound from a single direction; and second, these filter out background noise. You will then hear more of the primary sounds you want to hear and less of the ambient noise.


Most modern hearing aids have built-in directional microphones. Many of these have an automatic feature, too, that allows them to pick up sound from one direction (e.g., conversations) or from several directions (e.g., music).


Personal Sound Amplifiers


These are popular because of their cheaper prices and non-regulated status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Think of them as the auditory counterpart of over-the-counter reading glasses – you don’t need hearing aids prescription to buy them!


Basically, personal sound amplifiers are like hearing aids except that these can be quite powerful and loud. While these can improve hearing for hearing-impaired people, these can also be quite harmful because of the potential damage to the ears.


If you have hearing difficulties, you should go to your doctor or consult with an audiologist first so that the treatment can be customized to your needs.


Hearing Loops and Telecoils


While conventional hearing aids are useful in face-to-face conversations, these can be less useful in larger settings like airports, theaters and stadiums. This is where hearing loops and telecoils come in. In a loop system, one or more microphones are connected to an amplifier and a wire loop, the latter of which sends sounds via electromagnetic waves. The sound signals are picked up by your hearing aid – or in some cases, by a telecoil, a cochlear implant – that allows amplification of sound. You can hear the sounds clearly that you will forget you ever have hearing issues!


With the connected society we have now, even hearing aids are connected to smartphones, tablets and computers. The connection typically comes via Bluetooth technology that links your hearing aids to your devices so you can hear music, make phone calls, and listen to Waze directions, among others.


We are specialist of hearing test & assessment, hearing aid prescription, and subsequent professional hearing aid services.   Please contact us at 3100 0555 for free consulation.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


The Types Of Modern Hearing Aids And Their Applications

Did you know that the National Institutes of Health estimates that only one in five people who require hearing aids wear them? This isn’t so surprising considering that old-fashioned hearing aids have a clunky design – big in size, small in features with audible buzzes and whistles that worsen hearing loss instead of improving hearing capacity.


Fortunately, digital technology has ushered in a new age in hearing aids! These products are now significantly smaller in size while offering better features, thanks partly to microcomputers. These are virtually invisible, if you want to be discreet about your hearing loss, too.


Styles to Choose From


Check your hearing aids prescription since it may contain one of these modern types of the device.


  • In-the-ear (ITE) devices completely fit in the outer ear typically used in the management of mild to severe hearing loss. Made of hard plastic, the case holds the circuitry but the device itself can be damaged by ear drainage and wax buildup.


  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) devices are obviously worn behind the ear with a plastic earmold fitting inside the outer ear. These are typically prescribed for people with mild to profound hearing loss, as well as can be linked to your cellphone using Bluetooth technology. Basically, you can hear directly from your phone so there’s little to no background noise – and it’s definitely a cool feature.


  • In-the-canal (ITC) devices are customized according to the unique size and shape of your ear canal. These are used for mild to moderately severe hearing loss, as well as the most popular type of hearing aids since these are small in size and fits well into the ear canal without being placed deep in it that there’s reduced reception.


Your audiologist and/or ear specialist will suggest the best type of hearing aids in your case depending on your type and severity of hearing loss, among other factors. In general, the more severe the hearing loss, the larger the size of the hearing aids, ostensibly to accommodate more wires and circuitry.


Workings of the Devices


Regardless of your chosen type, these hearing aids work like a topnotch stereo sound system. These filter out the background noise, adjust the volume, and improve the sound quality automatically. These are also programmed through their microcomputers to match the subtle aspects of your unique hearing loss – think of it as your very own equalizer and you get the idea.


Modern hearing aids also have a directional microphone, among the biggest improvements in these devices, which act as a filter against background noise. If you want to hear better even in a relatively noisy environment, then ask your audiologist for hearing aids with a directional microphone.


If you want even better performance, you may want to shell out a few hundred dollars more for hearing aids with digital circuitry. Basically, these devices have a microphone, a receiver and a computer chip as well as a battery that precisely matches your response time, among other aspects of your hearing loss.


If you think you need to buy a hearing aid, make sure that you get a hearing aid prescription. Also note that the programs on these devices may be modified, but ask your audiologist first before making any changes. We are specialist of hearing test & assessment and provide hearing aid prescription.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


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HK Hearing & Speech Centre
5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556