Recognizing when you require some medical advice is normally rather easy. When you break a bone, for example, you know you should go to the doctor (or the emergency room, depending on the scenario). You may need a splint or a cast or supportive device, but the point is that you’re not likely to try “toughing it out”. At least, not for very long (especially if you want your bones to mend themselves properly).
It’s not always that clear cut when it comes to hearing aids, though. Hearing loss is usually a progressive condition. That means it’s not always easy to know when you might need to begin wearing hearing aids or to delay finding treatment you know could be helpful.
So watching out for signs that your hearing is going is a good idea. It’s likely time to call us for a consultation if you do notice any.
Hearing aids and hearing loss
Hearing aids are the primary form of treatment for hearing loss. But everyone who has some level of hearing loss won’t necessarily need hearing aids. In cases where patients have very mild hearing loss, hearing aids won’t always be helpful. We may want you to hold off on using hearing aids because of this. Likewise, you might be advised to wear hearing aids only in specific situations.
In other words, the threshold for needing hearing aids isn’t always a diagnosis of hearing loss.
However, hearing aids will be the ideal answer in many cases. Because hearing loss can be a sneaky and slow condition, lots of people don’t receive a diagnosis until there’s been significant damage. Getting your hearing assessed regularly is the key to catching hearing loss early and possibly mitigating the need for hearing aids.
So how will you know if you have hearing loss?
You need hearing aids if you detect these indicators
Immediate communication issues can be the result of hearing loss. But lots of times you don’t even realize that hearing loss is the reason for those communication problems. So, when is it time for a hearing aid?
Here are a few of the typical signs you should look out for:
- You have a tough time hearing conversations in noisy places: This is probably one of the most common symptoms of hearing loss. If you have difficulty hearing conversations in noisy places, that’s often a sure sign that you have hearing loss. This happens because your ears are not receiving as much information as they used to, and your brain isn’t really able to fill in the gaps as easily. A lot of conversations get muddled because of this.
- You can’t understand people on the phone: Even the highest quality phone speakers have a habit of flattening a voice. If you have hearing loss, this can make it even more difficult to understand conversations. Once again, certain frequencies are missing and the result is that it’s really hard to understand those voices.
- You have difficulty making out what people are saying: Many people don’t think they have hearing loss or need hearing aids because the overall volume they hear seems fine. But the thing about hearing loss is that particular frequencies of sound usually go before others. Because of this, things like vowel sounds in the higher register can sound distorted. This could cause you to have a tough time understanding what people are saying.
- You listen to the radio or TV at really loud volumes: If you’re constantly turning the volume up on your television or radio or smartphone, it may be the result of hearing loss. This is especially true if you keep turning that volume knob higher (and even more especially relevant if the people around you complain about how loud your media is).
So how should you deal with it?
When you break your leg, it’s obvious what to do: you go to the doctor! But what about when you experience these signs that you might need a hearing aid? What degree of hearing loss requires hearing aids? That’s not a really easy answer but you should schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam if you start to experience any hearing loss symptoms. We’ll be able to evaluate the health of your hearing and determine just how severe your hearing loss may or may not be.
A hearing evaluation will also help you get the most effective hearing aids for your needs if you do indeed need hearing aids. Then you will be able to get back to taking pleasure in good conversations with your friends and loved ones and doing the things you love.
Call us to schedule your hearing exam, we can help you understand if you’re suffering from hearing loss.