How does hearing aid help?

So how does hearing aid help?

Is it this way?: get a hearing test, then the hearing aid will be set according to the test result to compensate for the hearing loss? For example: if the perfect hearing is 10dB HL and my loss is 65 dB HL, would the hearing aid simply be set to 10db HL so that I would have a perfect hearing?

  1. Is “compensating for the hearing loss” mimic the hearing of people without hearing issues?
  2. How come there are still issues relating to indistinct (not clear) talking voices after the hearing aid is set to “compensate for the heating loss”?
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@arnags2000 If you have time you could check Mr Venema’s video on youtube:

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No, hearing aids do not restore hearing to “normal.” Their main goal is to enable one to understand speech at typical volume levels. You have a fairly flat loss of 60 dB. If it’s a sensorineural loss, typical would be to add about 20 dB of gain. If it’s a conductive loss, it would be more like 30 dB of gain.

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It depends on your hearing loss. I have been wearing aids for over 18 years and only in the last two years have I been able to truly understand speech. I can’t remember the number of fitting adjustment appointments I have had over the years. But in the last 4 years it has been about 20. It can take patience, stubbornness and the right audiologist for some of us. It takes a two way communication between you and your audiologist. At least for me it wasn’t setting the aids to the audigram and move on for the next few years. It has meant many returns for additional adjustments.

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Thanks for this @Baltazard for sharing this video, it’s very much appreciated.

I assume current HA is set this way - "HA amplifies soft sounds by a lot and loud sounds by a little or nothing at all”) - however how come we still have issues e.g. indistinct speaking voice, etc.

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For me over the last 4 years it has been a process of small adjustments then get use to the extra sounds and louder sounds. So it has been make an adjustment then fight through it until the brain accepts it as normal, then another adjustment to add more sounds and volume. At least for the VA the standard procedure is make the aids comfortable so the patient will not just throw the aids in a drawer and forget them. Well that doesn’t always work for some of us. I had to endure some pain to get to where I can understand speech.
My word recognition without aids is about 60%, before all my appointments in the last 4 years my word recognition with aids was 80%, now it is over 90% with aids. Was it worth the pain, yes I would do it all over again as needed.

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@arnags2000 My understanding is the technology isn’t there yet to bring full speech clarity especially in noisy environment, even though every HA manufacturer will say the opposite.
This doesn’t mean that the current HA are useless, but you will have to try before you buy.
Also, a hearing care professional is equally important in setting the HA up the correct & efficient way.
Also, the use of REM (real ear measurement) do suggest it is a beneficial procedure in getting the best of the HA.
I will add, that at certain stage, there might be a need for assistive listening devices, like:
TV connector, remote microphone…
My point of view is, try different HA manufacturer and see if they make any difference in your daily life, basically “shop around”.
Bearing in mind that you will need to give your brain time to adjust.
Good luck

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You will always still have some issues. You are dealing with a damaged nerve system. Hearing aids are not like glasses where you adjust the refraction and get back to 20/20. In your case it looks like the outer three rows of hair cells in the cochlea are basically gone. Only the inner row seems to be working. You can maximize what you have left with hearing aids, if that is not enough you can investigate cochlear implants. But it is safe to say that your hearing will never be 20/20 again.

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As was stated previously. They aid not fix

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Getting hearing aids is NOT like getting eyeglasses.

With eyeglasses, once you have the correct prescription, you see as you saw, before you lost vision clarity.

With hearing aids, you will NEVER hear as you heard before you had hearing loss. You will hear BETTER with the aids than without, you will hear MORE with the aids than you will hear without. But you will never hear the way you heard before.

Sorry, but that’s how the technology is at this time.

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Can one gets tested with a hearing aid on to check if what he is hearing is now normal?

Normal how? You’re not going to hear like you did when you had perfect hearing.

But you can definitely be tested to see if you’re hearing and understanding spoken words better.

The small problem is, if you’re new it can take time for your brain to readjust.

I recently had cataract replacement surgery and there’s some interesting analogies there.

Your replacement lens, even the ‘best’ replacement lenses, can’t restore your vision to that of youth. They can “spread the light” so you can see at various vocal lengths but you’ll sacrifice some contrast sensitivity to get there.

And then it takes your brain awhile to adjust to the new visual input, especially if you opted for a multi focal lens.

Hearing is similar (but different, of course). But especially when frequency shifting in digital aids is used, or any compression (analog aids too), your brain has to learn to hear properly again.

Brains are weird, but in these cases that’s a very good thing.

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The video states that people with hearing loss (I assumed this person wears a HA) finds 100dB too loud while the normal people don’t.

Why is this?

You have damaged nerves! If you hit your thumb with a hammer, it hurts but if you bang your thumb on something else, it still really hurts. That is damaged nerves. Your thumb will heal, the damage to your hearing nerves will not heal. You will be more sensitive to loud sounds and not be able to hear real soft sounds. Facts of life with a severe hearing loss. Fortunately, you can still be helped, just don’t expect “normal”.

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@arnags2000 I don’t think he is wearing HA.
Here is my understanding, someone on here can correct me.

The image below is my brother’s left ear audiogram with pictograms added to it.
Any sound above the blue line is difficult/impossible for him to hear, so the HA boosts/amplify those sounds to the level where he can hear them (blue line is his hearing level).
Any sounds below the blue line, he can hear them just fine!

So what does this mean?
My understanding is, the lower the blue/red line, the powerful the HA needs to be so they can amplify the sounds above the lines.

Here is some reading:

Another video:

In the end, having a good understanding of this topic, gives you guidelines on what to do and what to expect when going to a hearing care professional.

To answer your questions on the main post:

  • 10db not sure, but they will set up your HA to the optimum formula that suits you.
  1. Again, I think this is related to the above (10db), but not sure
  2. HA aren’t perfect and they still struggle in noisy environment, when it comes to face to face in a quiet environment I would think they do a decent job.

My advice is, if you have a Costco near you, you could go and check their hearing center, they will advise you on what you really need.

One last item, Normal or not normal, the main thing is you who has to deal with x situations, and to help you, you need to be able to hear as much as you can with the best HA you can afford. This comes down to what you want vs what you need.

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A hearing aid cannot restore what would be considered normal hearing. It can, however assist in hearing to the point (a properly fitted modern aid) can restore hearing to the point that those around you aren’t aware of your hearing loss. That, combined with the new features of taking phone calls through the aids and listening to streaming music more than make up the small difference in aid-assisted and normal hearing. My hearing loss is severe. I couldn’t function without my aids.

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A lot of good information provided. One reason it is difficult to hear in noisy situations is that with hearing loss we also lose the brain’s ability to choose to hear a specific voice when it’s noisy. The ability to distinguish voices out of noise is called signal to noise ratio. Hearing aids are small computers and have improved over the years in ability to improve the speech to noise ratio so you can hear speech a little better in noisy situations such as restaurants, cocktail parties , or family dinners for example. But none are really good at it as yet.

Remote wireless microphones such as the ones made by Roger are good supplements to your HA.

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Well done.
I’m on the same path as you cvkemp

However, I still have issues with speech recognition. I’m making progress. It’s painfully slow.
My audiologist is skilled and hard working. I take courage from your message that I can be successful if I work harder at it.

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I think a person with normal hearing would find 100 dB to be pretty damn loud

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Obviously for us who are suffering from hearing loss for a long time, it is highly likely that we may have forgotten how noisy the world is.

QUESTION: If a normal hearing person hears a diesel truck 40 mph at 50 ft at 84 dB, would we (those who wear HA) hear the same sound at 84dB?

I am asking the above because I was not born deaf and I know how loud 84dB back in the day. However when I wear my hearing aid these days it seems like the 84dB is too loud already and it’s not the same as before when I still have perfect hearing. I just want to be assured that the setting of the HA is not too loud…e.g. an 84dB for a normal person may be 150dB for people who wear HA because the HA is set too loud.

How to verify that the 84dB for a normal person is 84dB in our hearing aids?

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