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5 things D/deaf people want you to know about hearing aids

5 things D/deaf people want you to know about hearing aids

May 4, 2023
Published by Editorial Staff

Hearing aids are a common treatment option for individuals with hearing loss, but not everyone who is deaf or hard of hearing uses them. For those who do use hearing aids, there are certain things that they want hearing individuals to know about their experiences.

Here are five things that deaf people want you to know about hearing aids.

1. Hearing aids do not “fix” hearing loss

Hearing aids are designed to amplify sound and improve the user’s ability to hear, but they do not “fix” hearing loss. For individuals with severe or profound hearing loss, hearing aids may not be effective in improving their hearing ability. Hearing aids also cannot restore the ability to hear certain sounds or frequencies that the individual may have lost.

2. Hearing aids are not a cure-all solution

While hearing aids can be helpful in improving the user’s ability to hear, they are not a cure-all solution. They may not work in all situations or environments, such as in noisy or crowded spaces. Hearing aids also require regular maintenance and adjustments to ensure they are working correctly, and some users may require additional assistive devices to improve their communication abilities.

3. Hearing aids are not the same as cochlear implants

Hearing aids and cochlear implants are two different types of assistive devices for individuals with hearing loss. Cochlear implants are surgically implanted devices that bypass the damaged parts of the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve, allowing the individual to hear sounds. Hearing aids amplify sound and are worn outside of the ear. Not all individuals with hearing loss are candidates for cochlear implants, and it is important to discuss all options with a medical professional.

4. Hearing aids do not make deaf individuals “less deaf”

Deafness is a part of an individual’s identity and culture, and hearing aids do not change that. Wearing hearing aids does not make a deaf person “less deaf” or more hearing. It is essential to respect an individual’s deaf identity and communicate with them in a way that is comfortable and accessible for them.

5. Hearing aids require communication consideration

For individuals who use hearing aids, communication can still be challenging, and it’s important to be patient and considerate when communicating with them. They may need additional visual cues or prefer communication through written or signed languages. It’s essential to ask the individual how they prefer to communicate and respect their communication needs.

In conclusion, hearing aids can be a useful tool for individuals with hearing loss, but they are not a cure-all solution. Deaf individuals who use hearing aids want hearing individuals to understand that hearing aids do not “fix” hearing loss or change their deaf identity. Communication consideration and respect for an individual’s communication preferences are crucial when interacting with someone who uses hearing aids. By being aware of these factors, we can create a more inclusive and understanding society for individuals with hearing loss.