In some cases, it’s easy to recognize when you require medical advice. When you break a bone, for example, you know you should go to the doctor (or the emergency room, depending on the situation). You may need a splint or a cast or supportive device, but the point is that you’re unlikely to try “toughing it out”. At least, not for very long (particularly if you want your bones to mend themselves properly).
It isn’t always that obvious when it comes to hearing aids, though. Hearing loss is typically a developing condition. This means knowing when to get treatment for hearing loss can be difficult.
So watching out for indications that your hearing is going is a good plan. If you observe any, it may be time to talk to us about your first set of hearing aids.
Hearing aids and hearing loss
Hearing aids are the main form of treatment for hearing loss. But everyone who has some level of hearing loss won’t necessarily need hearing aids. In situations where patients have very mild hearing loss, hearing aids won’t always be practical. Because of this, we might want you to wait before starting to use them. It’s also possible that we could direct you to only use your hearing aids when you’re in particular situations.
Essentially, the threshold for requiring hearing aids is not always a diagnosis of hearing loss.
However, hearing aids will be the ideal solution in many instances. Many people won’t have their hearing loss diagnosed until it becomes more serious because hearing loss progresses slowly and often goes unnoticed for a while. But if you come in to see us regularly, you might be able to catch your hearing loss early, and, as a result, you may not require hearing aids right away.
So how will you know if you have hearing loss?
Signs you need a hearing aid
Instant communication issues can be the result of hearing loss. But lots of times you don’t even realize that hearing loss is the cause of those communication issues. So, at what point will a hearing aid help?
Watch out for these signs:
- When people speak, you can’t always make out what they said: Many people don’t think they have hearing loss or need hearing aids because the overall volume they hear seems fine. But hearing loss is curious, it tends to affect specific frequencies before others. Which means that the vast majority of sounds might seem normal but things in the high frequencies (such as certain vowels) will be distorted. Consequently, you may have a tough time understanding what people are saying to you.
- The volume on your devices is becoming very loud: Hearing loss could be the cause if you continually need to turn the volume of your devices up. If you find individuals around you complaining about the high volume of your devices, this is particularly relevant.
- You have a difficult time hearing conversations in loud places: When people ask, “What are the signs of hearing loss?”, this one is almost always mentioned. One of the surest indications of hearing loss is that you have trouble following conversations in noisy settings, like bars or restaurants. This happens because your ears are not receiving as much information as they used to, and your brain isn’t really capable of filling in the gaps very easily. Lots of conversations get muddled because of this.
- You’re unable to understand people on the phone: Even the highest quality phone speakers tend to flatten a voice. That can make it hard to understand, especially if you have hearing loss. It can be extremely challenging to hear voices as an outcome of the loss of these frequencies.
So what should you do?
When you break your leg, it’s clear cut what to do: you go to the doctor! But what about when you experience these indications that you might need a hearing aid? What degree of hearing loss requires hearing aids? That’s not a very easy answer but you should schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test if you begin to notice any hearing loss symptoms. We’ll be able to assess the health of your hearing and determine just how serious your hearing loss may or may not be.
A hearing test will also help you get the optimal hearing aids for your needs if you do indeed need hearing aids. Then you will be able to get back to enjoying good conversations with your friends and loved ones and doing the things you love.
Call us for a hearing exam so we can help you improve your quality of life.