Question: Adam,my dad and I are having a disagreement over the usage of his hearing aids and I’m wondering if you can lend your expertise. Dad claims that he shouldn’t use his new hearing aids because by using them, they will make his hearing even worse. I don’t agree with him. Can you settle the argument?
Answer: Although I don’t like getting in the middle of family arguments, this question relates to better hearing so I’ll see what I can do. The simple answer is no, hearing aids should not harm your hearing. For decades hearing aids have had loudness limits where the sound cannot exceed a certain level. So a properly fit hearing aid and a properly set hearing aid will not get loud enough to do any damage.
Why then, do some hearing aid users feel their natural hearing gets worse after just a few weeks of wearing their new hearing aids? This can occur once their brain has adapted to their improved hearing. And without their hearing aids, they feel like they hear worse than before. They’re addicted to hearing better.
There are, however, products that can harm your hearing. For instance amplifiers that you purchase over the counter at places such as Walgreens or CVS or even on the internet on sites such as eBay do have the ability to harm your hearing. These products are simple amplifiers and the loudness level is not based on your specific hearing. So turning up these amplifiers too loud may indeed do damage to your hearing.
Your question leads into another much bigger question: Do you know how loud sounds are and what sounds can actually damage your hearing?