Effects of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss occurs gradually which makes it difficult for people to realize the effects over time. Hearing loss in itself does not only damage the quality of life but it may lead to other illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Thus, improving this condition with the support of a hearing aid can be beneficial.

Types of Hearing Loss and Conditions

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and is caused by inner ear damage. Damage can be caused as a result of loud noise, medication or old age and repairing the ear is no longer an option. However, cases of sensorineural hearing loss can be improved with hearing aids.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is damage in the outer and middle area of the ear. Damage can be caused by wax build-up, an ear infection in the middle area, damage to the tympanic membrane also known as the eardrum, or damage to the ossicles which are three tiny bones in the middle ear.

Conductive hearing loss makes it difficult to differentiate vowels, and sounds are perceived to be quieter than usual.


Tinnitus is an illness which causes individuals to hear buzzing, clicking, hissing and other ringing noises inside of their ear or head. This condition may occur once in a while or become chronic depending on the individual. One option to reduce the issue is to wear a hearing aid to amplify sounds and overpower the inner noises.

Who Needs a Hearing Aid?

Hearing aids may be beneficial for individuals who:

  • Have mild to severe hearing loss
  • Have bilateral hearing loss
  • Have difficulty hearing due to aging
  • Experience tinnitus

Experiencing Severe Hearing Loss

Individuals with severe hearing loss are likely to experience the following:

  • Difficulty listening in group conversations
  • Difficulty hearing conversations over the telephone
  • Difficulty understanding in-person conversations
  • Having individuals speak up in order to hear them
  • Sitting close to the speaker in order to hear
  • Having to utilize body language and visuals to understand the conversation
  • Difficulty identifying sounds during emergencies such as sirens, horns, and other ringing noises

Hearing Aid Technology

Digital Hearing Aids

Digital hearing aids are one of the most commonly used aids today. Sound processing is used to identify sound waves and convert them into digital signals. These digital hearing aids are also able to differentiate background noise from speech.

Programmable Hearing Aids

Remote control technology or mobile applications can be used to program hearing aids. Depending on one’s environment, the digital hearing aid can be programmed for better assistance.

Conventional Analog

Conventional analog hearing aids are not able to differentiate between noise and speech, which is why they have become less popular. These hearing aids operate by increasing the amplitude of sound waves, making incoming sounds louder.

Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing aids are small devices worn in the ear or behind the ear with the purpose of picking up sounds and amplifying them. A hearing aid consists of a microphone, amplifier and receiver.

Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid (BTE)

BTE hearing aids fit behind the ear which means that all of the electronic parts are also behind the ear. A behind the ear style is easy to wear and clean which makes it practical for children. For individuals with severe hearing loss, this behind the ear hearing aid has incredible amplification features.

Completely-in-the-Canal Hearing Aid (CIC)

CIC hearing aids fit deep and tight within the ear which means that it is not easily visible. A string is attached to the device for easy removal. Since the hearing aid is placed within the ear, it is less likely to be affected by background noises such as wind.

In-the-Canal Hearing Aid (IIC)

IIC hearing aids are not as visible and they sit in the ear canal. These hearing aids are available in various sizes, and larger sizes often include a microphone.

In-the Ear Hearing Aid (ITE)

ITE hearing aids rest in the bowl of the ear and offer many features such as a microphone, wireless streaming and telecoil. A telecoil is a sensor that is compatible with telephones and picks up magnetic signals in order to convert energy into sound. Telecoil helps individuals understand voices better by amplifying the sound and minimizing background noises. This style of hearing aid is easy to insert in the ear.

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