Recruitment is a term to describe an abnormal growth in loudness. Recruitment is often present for people with nerve loss. Because of the patient’s hearing loss, they often cannot hear normal conversation or other environmental sounds. However, loud sounds can often cause much discomfort. People with normal hearing may not experience the same discomfort to the same intense sound. The abnormal growth in loudness can be extremely irritating and should be taken into account when selecting hearing aids.
Patients with recruitment usually cannot tolerate hearing aids with linear circuits. Linear circuits make no attempt to protect individuals from loud sounds. Linear circuits provide the same amount of gain for all sounds. The end result is that intense sounds are too loud and people will not wear the aids. Most newer hearing aid circuits utilize sophisticated compression technology to help keep loud sounds comfortable. Compression circuits apply less volume for loud sounds automatically, and provide the listener with a much more pleasant listening experience.