Recognizing when you need some medical advice is typically fairly easy. When you break a bone, for example, you know you should go to the doctor (or the emergency room, depending on the situation). You might need a splint or a cast or supportive device, but the point is that you’re not likely to try “toughing it out”. If you want your bones to mend correctly, you need to get them treated as soon as you can.
But in terms of hearing aids, it isn’t always so easy to recognize when it’s time to get some assistance. Hearing loss typically progresses really gradually over time. This means recognizing when to get treatment for hearing loss can be tricky.
So keeping an eye out for indications that your hearing may be going is a good idea. If you observe any, it may be time to consult us about your first pair of hearing aids.
Hearing aids and hearing loss
Hearing loss is mainly treated with hearing aids. But that doesn’t mean everybody who has hearing loss will instantly need a set of hearing aids. Hearing aids won’t always be practical in cases of minor hearing loss. Consequently, we might want you to wait before beginning to use them. In addition, you may be advised to wear hearing aids only in certain situations.
Essentially, the threshold for requiring hearing aids is not always a diagnosis of hearing loss.
But in many cases hearing aids will be the best solution. Many people won’t get their hearing loss diagnosed until it becomes more serious because hearing loss progresses slowly and often goes undetected for a while. Getting your hearing tested regularly is the key to catching hearing loss early and possibly mitigating the need for hearing aids.
And if that’s the case, you’re most likely thinking: how can I tell if I require hearing aids?
You need hearing aids if you recognize these indicators
Instant communication challenges can be the result of hearing loss. The interesting thing, though, is that you don’t always realize that those communication difficulties are caused by hearing loss. So, when is it time for a hearing aid?
Here are some of the common signs you should look out for:
- Phone conversations sound muffled: Voices usually sound a little flat on even high-quality phone speakers. If you have hearing loss, this can make it even harder to understand conversations. Once again, certain frequencies are missing and the result is that it’s really difficult to understand those voices.
- You listen to the radio or TV at really loud levels: If you’re constantly turning the volume up on your television or radio or smartphone, it might 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).
- When you’re in noisy locations, you have a tough time following conversations: When people ask, “What are the signs of hearing loss?”, this one almost always comes up. One of the surest signs of hearing loss is that you have difficulty following conversations in noisy places, like bars or restaurants. This happens because your ears are not getting 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 muffled because of this.
- When people speak, you can’t always make out what they said: Many individuals don’t think they have hearing loss or need hearing aids because the total volume they perceive seems fine. But the thing about hearing loss is that specific frequencies of sound tend to go before others. Which means that the vast majority of sounds may seem normal but things in the high frequencies (such as certain vowels) will be distorted. This could cause you to have a difficult time understanding what people are saying.
So how should you deal with it?
Obviously, you know exactly what you have to do when you break a bone! But what do you do when you start to detect the symptoms of hearing loss? How severe does hearing loss have to be to call for a hearing aid? Well, that’s difficult to answer, but when you begin detecting these symptoms, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with us. We’ll be able to assess 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 requirements if you do indeed need hearing aids. This means you’ll be able to get back to communicating with your friends and loved ones, you’ll hear your grandkids when they give you a call, your co-workers at your morning meeting, and your friends at the pub.
Call us for a hearing exam so we can help you improve your quality of life.