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Hearing Aid Inconsistency Explained

hearing aidsHearing aid users repeatedly report that effectiveness of such devices varies widely. That’s because measuring a person’s requirement for a hearing aid is more than just a few statistics collated as a result of a diagnostic session. The perception of your specific hearing requirements have to be weighed and measured somehow, it is true. What can vary significantly is your personal reaction to the hearing aid selected to combat your hearing loss. So, why is that?

The filtering process of the brain

Two people with the same audiogram readings can be fitted with identical hearing aids and receive very different results. That’s because hearing is ultimately subjective. Although we can plot an audiogram curve, our hearing cannot be measured visually. The filtering process of our brain means we will all perceive things rather differently, depending upon our personal interpretation of noise.

If the physical process of hearing depletes slowly over time, so does our brain’s ability to interpret that sound. It stands to reason that it then takes time to retrain the brain to effectively utilise these skills. If you’ve suffered hearing loss from birth, then your benchmark will be different to that of someone whose loses it at a later stage in life, having never exercised those skills to start with. Hence why hearing is so individual to us all.

Congestion of the middle ear

There is a more physical explanation why hearing aid inconsistencies occur. Congestion in the middle ear is a common complaint, where the level of fluid trapped there can determine what you hear. As these levels can fluctuate daily, so can your hearing, hence the inconsistency you may get from your hearing aid. If you find sound fluctuates significantly from day to day and feel there may be a problem with your middle ear, speak to your audiologist. Tests can be run to investigate this further.

An ill-fitted hearing aid

There may be a technical issue causing your hearing to be inconsistent. It might be the fit of your hearing aid that is causing the problem. If the ear mould or hearing aid itself blocks the ear completely, the occlusion can cause pressure to build within the ear canal and alter the way in which you hear sound. It may be your own voice that starts to echo or other general sound that reverberates without warning. Relief may occur as your facial expression alters or your jaw line moves when talking, enabling the hearing aid to shift position slightly and ease the problem. This however is not a solution in itself. If you feel that your hearing aid is not fitting you correctly, it is worth speaking to an audiologist who will be able to provide you with a solution.

Hearing aid settings

One final tip would be to check your hearing aid settings, if you are suffering from an inconsistent sound. Amplification can vary significantly depending upon the hearing aid that you are using. If in doubt, speak to an audiologist, who will check that it is programmed correctly for your level of need.

HearingDirect has an audiologist available to discuss the matter further if you require. Just click here for more information.

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