A common question asked by customers being fitted for hearing aids concerns whether the hearing aids which are made to help them hear faint sounds will make the loud noises too loud for their ears.This is a normal question, one for which there is thankfully a reassuring answer.

In a nutshell, contemporary hearing aids that are correctly fitted and adjusted are designed to avoid amplifying sounds that are already very loud. The important phrase in bold type is why you need to seek the assistance of a hearing aid professional.

An explanation of how hearing aids work is required to give a complete answer. Digital hearing aids work by transforming sounds into data. The data which encodes the sounds is then processed in the hearing aid’s microchip before the amplified sound is delivered to your ears. These digital hearing aids can be programmed, allowing audiologists to not only set a maximum volume that suits you, but to transform the nature of the sounds you hear. If you have primarily high-frequency hearing loss, for example, we might program the hearing aid to amplify those sounds while reducing the volume of lower-frequency sounds. If you suffer more from low-frequency hearing loss, the hearing aid can be programmed accordingly.

The newest digital hearing aids can also filter sounds to make them easier for you to understand. Background noise can be detected and reduced in volume, while voices in the foreground can be detected and amplified so you can hear them more easily. These digital hearing aids can even adjust dynamically to volume fluctuations such as a musician beginning a song very softly and then increasing the volume.Directional microphones assist this process by detecting the direction of sounds. They allow sounds from the direction you are facing while suppressing sounds from the side and behind.

Be aware that hearing aids do not protect the ear the way that ear plugs are designed to do. Loud sounds like chainsaws or overly amplified rock concerts, will therefore still be able to cause noise-induced hearing loss. However, the most common sounds you encounter should be handled by your properly fitted and programmed hearing aids.