Hearing Therapy

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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


What Caused Your Hearing Loss?

Do you feel like you’re hearing external sounds less and less? Do you feel like there have been significant changes in your hearing capacity? If you answered yes to these questions, then you may have hearing loss.


We must emphasize, however, that you shouldn’t self-diagnose, much less use suspicious products including supplements, tools and devices that promise to restore your hearing capacity to its previous level. You have to make an appointment with your doctor so that the appropriate medical and auditory examinations can be made.


But it doesn’t hurt either to know these causes of hearing loss either! You will then be able to make more sense of your hearing aids prescription with the information. Keep in mind that these are just a few of the numerous causes of hearing loss – ask your doctor for more information.


Congenital Hearing Loss

Sadly, some children have congenital hearing loss, a condition that often runs in families although it can also occur due to an infection during pregnancy or with maternal diabetes.

Other causes include premature birth, neonatal jaundice, and birth-related trauma like oxygen deprivation.


Childhood Illness

Children have sensitive ears and even a seemingly simple infection can affect their hearing

capacity. Ear infections are the common cause for hearing loss in children – these cause fluid buildup in the middle ear although it usually clears up after treatment.


Many common childhood diseases can also cause hearing loss, especially when these aren’t

promptly and properly treated. These include encephalitis, chickenpox, measles, influenza,

mumps, and meningitis; most of these diseases can be prevented with vaccines so be sure to ask your children’s pediatricians about them.



Many, if not most, older people experience hearing loss as a natural part of aging. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence even when you have protected your ears as best as you can. The hearing loss isn’t your fault – it’s caused by the progressive loss of the hair cells in your inner ear. You can’t prevent it but you can ask an audiologist for assistance on hearing aids and therapy.


Tumors and Growths

When there’s something blocking your ear canal, you will experience hearing loss. The blockage can be a growth, such as a tumor (e.g., benign polyps or cancer), the removal of which may or may not relieve hearing loss. Even earwax buildup can cause temporary hearing loss.


Exposure to Loud Noises

Long-term exposure and short-term yet severe exposure to loud noises can result in profound hearing loss. The noise itself can be from machinery at work, from motorcycles and vehicles, and from speakers during concerts and fireworks.


Your doctor will customize your hearing aids and therapy, among other treatment options, based on what caused your hearing loss in the first place. But for now, take good care of your ears!


Although it is tempting to buy something cheaper and affordable on the Internet, you have to be aware that you might be losing some professional services such as hearing test & assessment from an audiologist, hearing aid adjustment orientation to fit your ear and hearing diagnosis, and hearing aid rehabilitation services, etc. These services are necessary to help you achieve quality hearing health care and the fullest benefit you can get from a hearing aid.

If you think you need a hearing aid, we are a specialist offering hearing test & assessment, hearing aid prescription and professional services.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


Handling Hearing Aids With Care

Getting your hearing aids prescription is just the start of your journey! You have to handle them with proper care, too, not only because these can be expensive but, more importantly, because these are crucial for your enjoyment of a better quality of life.


General Tips


Always use the proper tools for the job! A wax pick and brush are a must for removing earwax buildup at the ends of the hearing aids; letting it be can result in a whistling effect that, when left unresolved, can damage the receiver.


Avoid exposing your hearing aids in water and other fluids. Wash your face, take a shower or a bath, and swim without your hearing aids since soap and water can damage them. Get them out, too, when you’re applying hair products like gels and sprays since these can also cause damage.


Clean your hearing aids every day, preferably before going to bed. This way, they have several hours to air out, so to speak. But don’t used alcohol and other chemicals when cleaning them.


Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures, too. Too hot days in winter and too cold temperatures in summer can warp them so leave them inside the house where they can be protected from the elements.


Place them in a dedicated container, too. You don’t want them being squashed or warped by the weight of other objects.  Keep them out of reach of children, if you’re an adult user, too.


Care for ITE Hearing Aids


In the ear hearing aids require special care and these steps should help.


  • Be sure to clean the openings, such as the microphone ports, with a soft brush; use either the brush provided in the hearing aids kit or a clean soft-bristle brush to remove the wax buildup.
  • Hold a hearing aid with its opening (i.e., the one being cleaned) so it faces downward; it will help in dislodging loose particles inside.
  • Clear stubborn particles using either wax pick or hook.
  • Wipe the device with either a tissue or a clean, dry cloth; a microfiber cloth will suffice.


Care for BTE Hearing Aids


Behind the ear hearing aids have earmolds that require cleaning, too, so these steps are more appropriate.


  • Clean the device just as you would with the ITE hearing aids except for the earmolds.
  • Remove the earmold from the hook prior to cleaning it. Wipe them using a clean, soft and dry cloth daily as well as soak them in warm, soapy water once a week; this will prevent stains and discolorations. Allow them to dry completely after soaking, preferably overnight, before using them again; don’t use other chemicals including alcohol on them.


If you notice a strong odor coming from your hearing aids, you should check with your ear doctor since it can be a sign of an ear infection.


If you think you need 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 ENT doctor first before making any changes. We are specialist of hearing test and assessment and provide hearing aid prescription.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


What Types of Hearing Tests Done on Newborn Babies

According to law, a newborn hearing test is mandated by law in all 50 states of the United States, a law that further mandates it before a newborn can leave the hospital. In our previous article, we just talked about why a newborn hearing test so necessary even without law in other countries. Here will talk about the types of hearing tests done on newborn babies.



Please don’t worry parents as a newborn hearing test doesn’t involve injections and the like. Both types of newborn hearing tests are painless so much so that these will not affect your baby’s deep sleep. You and your baby’s pediatrician will agree which of the two types of tests will be suitable for your baby.


Types of Tests Done


Keep in mind that these hearing screening tests should be done in a hospital and conducted by a trained technician, usually an audiologist. This is because a newborn baby’s hearing system is as fragile as can be, and any loud sound can damage it.


  • Otoacoustic emission (OAE) test records the tiny sounds made by the inner ear in response to the chirps or clicks made by a small, flexible plug placed in a newborn baby’s ear. Each ear will be tested in turn with each passing test regarded as a confirmation that the inner ear is receiving the auditory stimulation.


  • Automated auditory brainstem response (ABR) test records the auditory nerves’ activity when the clicks or chirps are delivered through the plug. It requires the placement of small electrodes tapes to the infant’s scalp – the electrodes are harmless and hypoallergenic – that confirms brain activity in response to the auditory stimulation.


Aside from these screening tests, parents are well-advised to let their babies undergo them as a precautionary measure. In case of hearing-related issues, the appropriate measures can be done as early as possible, and we know the importance of early intervention in children.


Follow-up Test May Be Needed


But what happens if your baby doesn’t pass, so to speak, the hearing test? Don’t worry too much about it since a significant number of newborns fail their initial hearing test for a natural reason – fluid is likely still present in the ear canal, a natural post-birth occurrence.


The pediatric audiologist will schedule a follow-up test in the next couple of weeks; by then, the fluid in the ear canal should be gone. Most infants, furthermore, pass their foll0w-up test but for those who don’t pass it, a diagnostic hearing test will be made to investigate the matter further.


The hearing tests performed for infants differ depending on their age, too. Older children who respond to external sounds usually have a different test than for infants, for example, while teens and adults usually have the same hearing screening exams.


Even with hearing issues, a pediatric audiologist can work with the baby’s parents to find the best solution. Indeed, with the modern audiology technology we have today, there’s always hope for a treatment. If there’s no treatment, then there are other methods by which a child can enjoy life to the fullest with the assistance of parents, doctors, and therapists.


If you think your infant need a hearing test, please contact us for further consulation. We are a Hong Kong hearing & speech centre offering hearing test & assessment and hearing aid prescription.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing aid prescription


Why A Newborn Hearing Test Is Necessary (Even Without The Law)

Yes, it has a federal law in the United States requiring a newborn hearing test before an infant is discharged from the hospital. But it isn’t the single reason why parents should consent to a hearing test for their newborn babies!


Indeed, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommends newborn hearing screenings. If a newborn didn’t undergo a hearing screening before being discharged from the hospital for any reason, the Academy recommends it by one month of age. In case of hearing issues, the baby should be enrolled in an early intervention program as early as three months or six months, at the latest.


This brings us to the question: Why are hearing screening tests so necessary that federal law and the AAP requires it?


Sense for Learning


Babies learn by listening to the sounds around them and develop their speech through their sense of hearing, too. Keep in mind, too, that the sense of hearing is so important in the womb – babies have been shown to turn their head and/or body toward the source of the sound.


This is the reason why obstetricians-gynecologists recommend pregnant mothers talk to their unborn babies and listen to music. These activities can enhance a baby’s sense of hearing when in the womb.


The newborn screening and diagnosis are of crucial importance in determining whether your baby has hearing-related issues, such as being hard of hearing or deaf. Without them, it’s difficult to know about the changes in hearing in the first months and years of your baby’s life.


Don’t rely on your personal observations about your baby’s response to external sounds, such as being startled by a loud sound or turning his head toward the sound. Such a response doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby can actually hear all external sounds. Babies who are either hard of hearing or deaf may hear certain sounds but may be unable to hear enough to hear and understand the spoken language.


Early Intervention as a Must


Infants who are hard of hearing or deaf need the right level of care and support from their parents and family, as well as the appropriate early intervention services. The wholistic approach is a must in the baby’s healthy development.


Otherwise, your baby’s communication skills in general and language skills in particular will be adversely affected, if he’s diagnosed later on to be hard of hearing or deaf. Indeed, a missed diagnosis hearing loss will also have adverse impact on your child’s socio-emotional development, academic achievements, and quality of life.


The earlier the intervention, the better the prognosis. This is the general rule for infants with hearing issues, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends early intervention as early as six months old.


If you think your infant need a hearing test, please contact us for further consulation. We are a Hong Kong hearing & speech centre offering hearing test & assessment and hearing aid prescription.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

and Hearing Aid Prescription


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HK Hearing & Speech Centre
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