Louder Aids vs. Clearer Aids

Q.  My 6-year old hearing aids have been ‘tuned up’ a few times over the years.  It has helped some, but I get more feedback.  My hearing center says they can only make my aids louder, but not clearer.  Why is that?

A.  Since your hearing aids have been adjusted a few times over the past 6 years to ‘keep up’ with your hearing loss, there might be very little left for your hearing center to do other than to raise the volume through the hearing aids.  Raising your hearing aids’ volume will not increase the clarity by the same amount.  And the extra volume will probably lead to even more feedback.

Your hearing center might have suggested that you listen to new hearing aids to find out if you hear more clearly with less volume when using the newer aids.  That’s right – more clarity with less volume.

In the past six years, there have been about 3 distinct generations of hearing aids that have become available.  Namely, each generation is identified when a newer, more complex, faster, more refined, higher processing computer chip becomes available.  A better computer chip results in a hearing aid that provides more subtle and distinct clarity with less volume.

When your brain receives more detailed, more specific, and more targeted information, it is able to understand speech more easily without using as much volume.  Sometimes patients take a week or two to reacclimate to hearing better with ‘quieter’ hearing aids.

Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin for a thorough appointment and maintenance.  If interested, listen to the newest hearing aids after your hearing test.  We provide coaching and adjustments during a 4-week hearing aid trial so patients can fully test out hearing aids before making a purchase.

Saleem Assaf (BA – Rice, MBA – UT) is a native Dallas, Texan and a recipient of KVUE’s 2020 award for 5 Who Care and the Texas Hearing Aid Association’s 2018 Dispenser of the Year award.  Outside his practice, Saleem volunteers for hearing healthcare in Austin and abroad.  Since 2008, he has provided $178,000 in hearing aids to students at the Texas School for the Deaf.