Q. I played the snare drum at McCullum High School in the 90’s. Now as a music sound engineer, my clients notice I tend over emphasize the 2,500 to 6,000 hertz range. I guess I have hearing loss in that area. Will ear plugs and hearing aids keep my hearing loss from getting worse?
A. It’s true that the most common cause of hearing loss is noise. The more intense the noise is and the longer the exposure is, the more likely it is a person will develop hearing loss.
Using ear plugs and hearing aids now will not change the natural course of your hearing loss due to the noise exposure that has already occurred. However, using ear plugs (and noise blocking earmuffs) can reduce additional hearing loss from new exposure to extreme sounds and noise.
Hearing aids, on the other hand, will fill in the sounds you miss due to your hearing loss. They will make words and music more distinct, clear, and understandable. But they will not prevent your hearing loss from getting worse due to the noise exposure you had in high school.
On the upside, with consistent usage hearing aids actually slow down brain mass loss and improve memory. Not bad.
Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin for a thorough, well explained ear and hearing exam. You will also listen to the newest hearing aids at your appointment. We then provide 4-week hearing aid trials with follow-up appointments so our patients can fully try out hearing aids before making a final purchase.