Factors that Could Affect Hearing Aid Efficacy

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.Uncategorized

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.
Latest posts by Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D. (see all)

As we get older, hearing loss might occur naturally in the form of presbycusis. One adult in five and more than half of all people over the age of 80 suffer from some degree of hearing loss. However, more than half of the hearing-impaired population are of working age and may experience other forms of hearing loss, such as noise-induced hearing loss (due to exposure to loud sounds). For most types of hearing loss, the most common treatment is the use of hearing aids. There are many different kinds and many different factors that ensure that your hearing aids will work best for you. Here, we take a look at factors that could affect the efficacy of your hearing aids. 

Make hearing aids work for you

Unlike eyeglasses, which, when put on, provide immediate benefits, hearing aids typically require a short transition period before benefits are fully realized. Most people need a month or two to get used to how the hearing aids sound and feel, and it can be frustrating at first, as sounds appear crisper, richer, and maybe even abnormal. When you make the move from having hearing loss with no hearing aids to actually wearing them, you are essentially altering the way your ears interpret sounds. The longer a hearing loss is present, the longer the brain has adjusted to hearing sounds incorrectly. Thus, the transition period with new hearing aids is simply your brain re-learning how to understand and hear certain sounds.

Relearning your voice

When you first start wearing hearing aids, your voice will have more depth and may sound loud. Don’t let it throw you off! To adjust to your new voice, read aloud to yourself and take time to find the appropriate volume. After a few days you’ll be accustomed to the change and won’t even notice it.

The importance of wearing your hearing aids daily

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), only 20 percent of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. If you’ve taken the plunge and purchased hearing aids, congratulations! You’re part of an elite group. Do you wear them every day? Or do they spend more time in your nightstand than they do in your ears? 

Most likely, your hearing healthcare professional has already emphasized the importance wearing your hearing aids has on your overall health and quality of life. A recent worldwide study on hearing loss and hearing aids involving more than 120,000 individuals in Germany, France, UK, Italy, Switzerland and the United States confirms their claims. The study found eight out of ten users believe hearing aids have had a positive impact on their quality of life, including improved relationships at home and work and a better sense of safety and independence.

Your hearing aids can have the same impact on your life. It all begins when you commit to wearing your hearing aids daily. 

Efficacy of Hearing Aids?

A recent Chinese study investigated the efficacy (the satisfaction of the intended result) in the treatment amongst patients using hearing aids to treat age-related hearing loss.  A number of factors were taken into account including an accurate and precise fitting progress, which is a priority for bilateral hearing aids. This study aimed to explore the related influencing factors and their role in predicting the efficacy of hearing aids.

A total of 73 cases of presbycusis patients aged 60–95 years old underwent pure tone audiometry and speech recognition ability examination.  Audiologists evaluated the efficiency and satisfaction of participants according to the International Outcome Inventory for Hearing Aids. Researchers used questionnaire scores by face-to-face or telephone investigations after using the hearing aids for at least 3 months.

The research showed that total satisfaction percentage scores was 86.3%. There was no significant correlation between age, first fitting age, unilateral or bilateral hearing aids. Patients with accurate hearing aid fitting showed high satisfaction. 

Atlanta Hearing Doctor

This recent research confirms what we already know: the importance of finding the best hearing aids to treat your specific hearing loss and ensuring the right fit to improve your hearing needs.  Schedule an appointment with Atlanta Hearing Doctor today to make sure you have the best possible fit so you can hear life to the fullest!