The new hearing aids that have been on the market for more than a year are designed to improve hearing and help people with hearing loss get through long periods of silence.
“It’s really important for me to have hearing aids because I can’t hear, it’s a big part of my life,” said Julie Auerbach, of New Jersey, who has a severe hearing loss and relies on hearing aids to listen to music.
“If you have someone with a hearing impairment, there’s no reason for them to have one,” Auerbich said.
“I’m hearing the word, ‘you’re hearing’ and they don’t know that I’m hearing them.
They don’t even know that my speech is inaudible.”
While some hearing aids can improve hearing, others have been shown to cause serious hearing loss.
“When I got a hearing aid, I couldn’t hear music,” said Tessa Stancil, of Texas, who uses one to help her understand conversations.
“But it helped me when I had to do things that I would normally just have to say out loud.
It was really helpful to me, it was a huge relief.”
Some hearing aids are also designed to reduce or block sound waves, but experts say that’s not always the case.
“Some of these hearing aids actually increase the noise levels, but it’s still quite loud and they’re not going to be able to hear you if you’re trying to get through it,” said Dr. John Pascarella, an associate professor of occupational and rehabilitation medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
While hearing aids aren’t a replacement for speech, they can help to keep people in their homes and get them out of noisy situations.
“They really help with the hearing loss,” said Susan Feltz, of Ohio, who works in manufacturing and also uses one.
“A lot of people with very severe hearing issues are also really reluctant to talk about it and I think it’s really helpful if we can get a hearing person to come forward and say, ‘I know that you have hearing loss, and I want you to talk to someone,'” she said.
For some people, hearing aids also help people keep their voices under control.
“One of my favorite things is I can use a hearing aids and hear music without the noise,” said Melissa Mazzola, of North Carolina, who recently had a hearing aide fitted.
“I love listening to music because I have to concentrate to make sure I’m talking.
And when I’m not, I can just go to my room and listen to the music.”
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