There are three types of hearing loss, but the one commonly acquired later in life is sensorineural hearing loss. With this type of hearing loss, your outer ear and middle ear work perfectly fine; however, your inner ear is damaged.
In many cases, sensorineural hearing loss is caused by loud noise exposure, making this type of hearing loss the most preventable. Once you have sensorineural hearing loss, the loss of hearing is permanent, and there is no surgery or pills that can correct it, unlike conductive hearing loss. But not all is lost. With the use of the right hearing aids, you can regain much of your lost hearing.
Hearing Aids Provide Amplified Sound
Since the issue with sensorineural hearing loss is that sound had difficulty passing through the inner ear, hearing aids are designed to amplify the sounds you hear so that they can reach the cochlear nerve and be transmitted to your brain for processing. Hearing aids do this by using three main components and follow these general steps:
- Your hearing aids capture the sound of someone speaking to you with the hearing aid microphone.
- The microphone sends the captured sound to be amplified by the hearing aid’s internal processor.
- Once amplified, the sound is sent out of the receiver into the inner ear, where it can pass to the cochlear nerve.
- The cochlear nerve transmits the speech to the brain, which it is then processed, and you can respond to what the other person said to you.
Some hearing aid users mention a delay between hearing and speaking, yet in most cases, the amplification and transmission process is fast enough that there aren’t noticeable lags in conversation. Also, this is the most basic of the hearing aid amplification processes, it can be more sophisticated, depending on what hearing aids you choose.
Hearing Aids Can Provide Different Levels Of Amplification
Not all hearing aids are designed to provide the same level of amplification. Like with hearing loss, hearing aids come in a range of power, with some designed to help those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, while others can accommodate mild-to-profound hearing loss.
As profound hearing loss means that sounds quieter than 90 decibels are difficult to hear—with human speech usually occurring at 60-70 decibels—the fact that hearing aids can help with this type of hearing loss is almost miraculous, especially to the hearing aid user who is able to regain a certain amount of hearing ability.
In many cases, hearing aid amplification levels are also determined by the style of hearing aids. For the larger hearing aids that go behind your ear, there is often more power and processing available to help those with severe hearing loss. When it comes to the smaller hearing aids that can be invisibly worn inside of your ear, they are often less powerful and suited to those who moderate or mild hearing loss.
Here at Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming, our hearing instrument specialist can provide you with access to a wide variety of hearing aids. Whether you are interested in a particular style of hearing aid or hearing aid brand, he can work with you to get you the hearing aids that will suit you best.
Choose Between Analog And Digital Hearing Aids For Hearing Loss
Now, the basic process we described above is generally how hearing aids work to correct sensorineural hearing loss. However, the process can vary somewhat if you have analog or digital hearing aids.
With analog hearing aids, the process of sound capturing is the same as digital hearing aids. However, analog hearing aids simply amplify sound and pass it on to the cochlear nerve. That means everything, from your friend talking to you to the neighbor’s lawnmower, are given equal amplification with digital hearing aids.
Contrast that with digital hearing aids. The sound is also captured, but instead of everything being amplified, the sounds are run through a processor which identifies the priority sound of your friend’s speech while lowering the amplification on background noises like the lawnmower. That way, you still hear everything, but like our normal hearing, digital hearing aids de-prioritize sounds that don’t need amplification.
Both of these styles of hearing aids are available, though analog hearing aids are less available than digital, as the analog hearing aids offer fewer features than digital hearing aids.
Visit Us To Find Hearing Aids To Correct Sensorineural Hearing Loss
If you are unsure whether you have sensorineural hearing loss, it is essential that you come in for a hearing evaluation with our hearing specialist. He can perform in-depth testing and discover the extent of your hearing loss.
To work with our hearing instrument specialist to find your ideal hearing aids, contact us to set up an appointment today.