What are the disadvantages of hearing aids?

Disadvantages of hearing aids include that they don't block out background noise, they don't separate speech and noise in noisy environments and they don't allow people to hear sounds at a distance.

Hearing aids are necessary to address hearing loss, but they're insufficient. There are lots of other things that help with good communication and make communication successful. Hearing aids make things louder, and they make sounds sound sharper, especially high-frequency consonants, but hearing aids don't block out background noise. That's a very common misperception that may be fed by some of the advertising seen in the newspaper. Hearing aids don't have a brain. They don't know what people want to hear and what they don't want to hear, so they amplify all the sound that's in the environment. Hearing aids don't do a good job of separating speech and noise under noisy circumstances, and they don't do a good job of allowing people to hear sounds that are at a distance.

Dr. David M. Vernick, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT Specialist)

Since hearing aids cause powerful amplification of sound, it's only natural to wonder if hearing aids can further deteriorate hearing. The answer is yes, if their maximum volume is set too high. That's why it's extremely important to find a reputable hearing aid professional, often called a dispenser, who will adjust the volume properly so it's loud enough to meet your needs but not so loud as to be harmful.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.