I'm 24 and for some undetermined reason, I have hearing loss exclusively from the left ear and this, from my childhood. Nothing (treatment, surgery, etc) can be done to cure my ear so I decided to see if a hearing aid could help.

My audiologist told me that little difference can be perceived from the first days of wearing the hearing aid; it's not like glasses where you can directly see the difference. However, "the most you will wear it, the most you will find it useful thanks to brain plasticity; especially at your young age". "This will wake your left ear nerves up and you'll ear more distinctly", she continued.

This should then improve my left ear performance, with or without the hearing aid. Therefore, that would mean that it can "repair" my ear through brain plasticity. Is that true/possible?

  • You may ask your doctor for references ... – Dr. belisarius May 14 '13 at 18:39
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    Are you sure you understood what your audiologist meant? Could it be that she meant the more you wear it, the better you will be able to hear with the hearing aid, rather than the better you will hear without the hearing aid? A link to someone else making the claim would greatly help here. – Oddthinking May 15 '13 at 3:50
  • Here is a site suggesting the latter. This may support the idea that it is a simple misunderstanding. – Oddthinking May 15 '13 at 3:52
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    I think OddThinking's link talks around this but basically it simply means that your brain will learn how to interpret whatever hearing you have remaining to the new sounds through experience. My wife has worn hearing aids her entire life and would only wear a specific brand. Guess what, they stopped making them. Despite the hearing tests showing that she hears better with the newer brands, she insisted she couldn't hear. After agreeing to wear the new ones for a month, everybody noticed how much better she heard. It was simply a matter of giving her brain a chance to adapt to the new sounds. – Dunk Nov 27 '13 at 16:04

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