How Hearing Aids Can Help You

Cross section of ear showing outer, inner, and middle ear structures with in-the-canal hearing aid in place.

If you’re losing your hearing, it can be frustrating: But, hearing aids can help you hear what you’ve been missing. Not everyone who has hearing loss needs hearing aids. But if your hearing loss is keeping you from communicating with others, hearing aids will most likely help you.

What hearing aids do

After getting used to your new hearing aids, you may find that:

  • You hear and understand speech better in many cases.

  • You’re able to join in when talking with a group of people.

  • You hear certain speech sounds more clearly.

  • You can hear warning signs that help you stay safe, such as a smoke alarm or car horn.

  • Life is more enjoyable for you and the people around you.

How hearing aids help you hear

Hearing aids help by making most sounds clearer for the brain. Sounds you can’t hear as well are made louder. Hearing aids also filter sound to reduce some background noise. And they soften some sounds that may be too loud. As a result, signals traveling to the brain are easier to understand.

The microphone picks up sound and carries it into the hearing aid. The amplifier makes the sound louder and clearer. The receiver sends this stronger sound into the ear canal. The stronger sound travels the rest of the way into the ear to the brain.  

Setting realistic expectations

Advances in technology have made today’s hearing aids better than ever. But your hearing still won’t be perfect. You may not hear all sounds. And you won’t hear only the things you want to. In noisy places you may still have trouble hearing speech clearly. Even so, you can learn techniques for better listening. Along with hearing aids, these techniques will help you understand what’s happening around you much better.