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Hearing Aids Benefits and Side Effects

an audiologist giving important info about hearing aids

The primary purpose of hearing aids, as you may well know, is to combat hearing loss and the symptoms that come along with it. By amplifying noise levels around you, they can help restore your range of hearing to a healthy level. This can make it much easier to communicate, to enjoy music and to pick up sounds that you may have missed in the past.

Your audiologist will be happy to help you pick out the hearing aids that work best for you, but ensuring that you’re as informed and prepared for them as possible is of the greatest concern to us. For that reason, we’re going to look at both the benefits and the side affects you should expect.

Benefits of hearing aids

Improving your range of hearing and being able to talk and listen, to hear music, and to better perceive the world around you are all benefits. However, hearing aids have benefits well beyond and related to that, as well, including the following:

  • Improving independence and self-reliance: Since you’re better able to sense and navigate the world on your own, you don’t need as much help carrying out daily activities, such as going to the shop. This can help you become both more physically active and can help to improve self-esteem.
  • Improve your ability to socialize and maintain relationships: Communication problems as a result of hearing loss can lead to isolation and a reluctance to get into social situations. Not having to focus so hard to communicate can help you better maintain relationships with friends and family. Meanwhile, you are more likely to better handle social situations, too.
  • Help with your mental health: Rates of mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, are higher in those with hearing loss. A hearing aid’s positive effect on quality of life can also help improve your mental health.
  • It can help with tinnitus: Both regular hearing aids and those with noise masking features may help diminish the experience of tinnitus that it common for those with hearing loss. This can help improve your ability to focus without distracting noises, improve your sleep quality, and have a net positive impact on your quality of life.
  • Can potentially slow age-related cognitive decline: Hearing loss is closely related to cognitive decline in older age. The part of the brain related to processing sound can atrophy over time, but a hearing aid may prevent that from happening.

Side effects of hearing aids

There are plenty more benefits than just those mentioned above that we could go into deeper detail over. However, it is important that you’re fully informed about what it’s like to wear hearing aids, and that your expectations are realistic. For that reason, let’s take a moment to review the most common side effects:

  • Can cause irritation and headaches at first: Within the first few months of using the device, it can feel a little irritating on the skin of the ear. The best way to get over this is to wear it only a little at first, increasing your exposure each day as time goes on. Furthermore, you may experience feedback, which can cause headaches, but your audiologist can help fix that.
  • A poor fitting hearing aid may be uncomfortable: A little bit of tightness is to be expected when you first wear hearing aids. After all, you have to get used to the sensation of there being something physically in your ear. If you have trouble getting used to it, it may be because the hearing aid doesn’t fit your ear as well as it should. If that’s the case, your audiologist can help you make a mold that better suits the shape of your ear.
  • It can take time to get used to: The difference that a hearing aid can make to your hearing is profound and immediate. While it will be a mostly positive surprise, it can be a little overwhelming at first. As such, it can take time to get used to having a full range of hearing, and may require some adjustment with the sound levels to find your most comfortable point.

Learn more about your hearing aids from your audiologist

As you can see, the benefits of wearing hearing aids can far outweigh any side effects, and often those side effects are mitigated or completely erased by making sure you’re choosing the hearing aids best suited to your needs.

To learn more about the different hearing aids on offer and to select those best suited to you, get in touch with Hearing Health Care. You can reach us at our Myrtle Beach office by calling 843-497-6156 or our Conway office at 843-488-2717.