Digital hearing aids are made of small computers and microphones that are predominantly designed to amplify and increase awareness of sounds in your listening environment. But what if you have severe hearing loss or are profoundly deaf?
One of the main questions surrounding this is usually "can hearing aids allow a deaf person to hear?"
There are various technologies and hearing devices for the deaf. For example, cochlear implants, visual alert systems, FM systems, loop systems, accessible telephones and videophones. Plus, you'd be surprised to know that digital hearing aids can really help deaf people's understanding of the world around them.
Digital hearing aids successfully increase the volume of the sounds you hear. There is a large percentage of people who are deaf that still retain some level of hearing and therefore, hearing aids can be effective. Increasing awareness of both speech and sound in their own unique environment.
However, how the brain uses this sound varies on what hearing aid and power they are using. Some people who wear powerful 'deaf aids' do so to take advantage of amplified speech sounds. When combined with lip-reading and sign language - they gain from higher environmental awareness.
People who have one ear that is deaf are commonly referred to as those who have 'single-sided deafness'. This means you have one ear that is deaf and one ear with ‘normal’ hearing. This also applies to those who have one deaf ear and one that has hearing loss which can be improved by wearing a digital hearing aid.
When you have hearing loss you probably hear some sounds, but not all available sounds. Hearing loss is divided into several categories or levels of hearing loss. These are:
When you are profoundly deaf it means you have the most profound hearing loss, which reduces your soundscape dramatically - even loud sounds within a short distance can be hard to distinguish.
Every hearing aid is different and can benefit different levels of hearing loss, therefore not all hearing aid devices can cater to those who are profoundly deaf. The most popular hearing aids for the deaf are ones that can personalize the levels of sound according to various listening environments.
It is important to remember that those who are profoundly deaf might not be ideal candidates for hearing aids, as some people might get more support from a cochlear implant.
We are generalising here, but most people who are deaf prefer to wear hearing aids and hard-of-hearing devices for the deaf to personalise their listening experience more or for that extra boost - depending on their surroundings.
In some cases, the profoundly deaf community often benefits from a combination of an ENT specialist and local audiologist to ensure optimum hearing healthcare. Because they don't slot into established processes of care, like those with mild to moderate hearing loss, adding gain is not enough.
Those who are deaf are highly reliant on technology combined with sign language - their communication challenges are often too great for just a hearing aid alone. A comprehensive treatment program that incorporates audiology management options like counselling, sign language, hearing assistant devices or hearing aid accessories and more is historically successful.
If you would like more information regarding hearing aids for the profoundly deaf or if you have any other hearing healthcare enquiries - call us free on 0800 567 7621
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When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.