Can hearing aids help with high-frequency hearing loss?
By Mayo Clinic News Network
Years ago, I was diagnosed with high-frequency hearing loss and told that hearing aids probably wouldn't help. With all the new technology in hearing aids, am I a candidate now?
Yes. In recent years, hearing aid manufacturers have made great strides in developing hearing aids that are more effective for all types of hearing loss -- including high-frequency hearing loss.
The advent of digital technology has resulted in significant hearing aid improvements. Other types of hearing aids now also work well for high-frequency hearing loss.
- Digital hearing aids can be adjusted to match an individual's unique hearing loss. With digital hearing aids, a computer chip converts incoming sounds into digital code and then analyzes and adjusts the signal based on your specific needs as revealed by your hearing test. The signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears. The result is sound that's more finely tuned to your hearing loss.
- Open-fit hearing aids -- which leave your ear canal at least partially open -- have become popular for high-frequency hearing loss. Open-fit hearing aids allow low- and mid-frequency sounds into the ear normally, so that only high-frequency sounds are amplified.
To find the best hearing aid for your situation, make an appointment with an audiologist to have your hearing tested and to discuss your specific needs. Together, you can decide which features will be most helpful for your hearing loss.
Because it may take some time to get used to a hearing aid, most manufacturers allow at least a 30-day trial period during which you can try out the hearing aid and return it for a refund if you're not satisfied.
-- Paul Y. Takahashi, M.D.
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