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Best Practices Checklist

How do hearing aids actually work?

By: Dr Cliff Olson
June 12, 2018
Video Transcript

Hearing aids are the best and only treatment option for most types of hearing loss.  Despite the fact that many individuals complain about how hearing aids perform, they actually do a very good job of treating hearing loss as long as they are fit and programmed correctly.  But what are hearing aids actually doing?  They don't just amplify all sounds.  They actually only amplify sounds that you need and not sounds that you don't.  Humans can hear between 20 Hz and 20 kHz.  Most individuals have hearing loss at some of these frequency ranges, but not all.  Hearing aids must be programmed to amplify only the frequency ranges that you need and do it with precision.Most cases of hearing loss are in the High-Frequency ranges.  

High frequency hearing losses often result in the loss of clarity to speech.  People with this type of hearing loss often report that they can hear people talking, they just can't understand what they are saying.  In this case, you would want to amplify the high frequency sounds with hearing aids and leave the low frequencies alone.  In order to do this correctly, you need to have Real Ear Measures performed on your hearing aids.  Real Ear Measures are the only way to verify that your hearing aid are programmed properly and you should NEVER buy hearing aids from someone who doesn't perform them.  To learn more about Real Ear Measurement, watch this video:  https://youtu.be/cHR0Oa6I-wY

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