In some cases, it’s easy to identify when you need medical help. You know you need to go to the doctor right away if you break a bone, for example. With situations like this, simply “toughing it out” isn’t an option. If you want your bones to heal correctly, you need to get them taken care of as soon as possible.
It isn’t always that obvious when it comes to hearing aids, however. Hearing loss typically progresses very gradually over time. This means knowing when to get treatment for hearing loss can be difficult.
That’s why it’s a good plan to keep an eye out for some specific signposts that you may be losing your ability to communicate. If you notice any, it might be time to talk to us about your first set of hearing aids.
Hearing loss and hearing aids
Hearing aids are the main form of treatment for hearing loss. But that doesn’t mean everyone who has hearing loss will instantly need a set of hearing aids. In cases where patients have very minor hearing loss, hearing aids won’t always be helpful. We may want you to hold off on using hearing aids as a result. It’s also feasible that we could direct you to only use your hearing aids when you’re in specific situations.
This means that just because you are diagnosed with hearing loss doesn’t mean you will automatically need hearing aids.
However, hearing aids will be the best option in many instances. Many individuals won’t have their hearing loss diagnosed until it becomes more severe because hearing loss develops slowly and frequently goes unnoticed for a while. But if you come in for a hearing exam regularly, you may be able to catch your hearing loss early, and, because of this, you may not require hearing aids right away.
And if that’s the situation, you’re probably thinking: how can I tell if I need hearing aids?
Signs you need a hearing aid
Hearing loss is one of those conditions that can produce immediate communication obstacles. But a lot of times you don’t even realize that hearing loss is the cause of those communication problems. So, when is it time for a hearing aid?
Here are some of the common signs you should look out for:
- When people talk, you can’t always make out what they said: Many people don’t think they have hearing loss or need hearing aids because the total volume they hear seems fine. But hearing loss is funny, it tends to affect specific frequencies before others. Due to this, things like vowel sounds in the higher register can sound distorted. As a result, you might have a difficult time understanding what people are saying to you.
- Phone conversations sound muffled: Even the highest quality phone speakers tend to flatten a voice. If you have hearing loss, this can make it even harder to understand conversations. It can be extremely challenging to hear voices as an outcome of the loss of these frequencies.
- You listen to the radio or TV at high levels: Hearing loss could be the culprit if you constantly need to crank the volume of your devices up. This is especially true if you keep turning that volume knob higher (and even more especially true if the people around you complain about how loud your media is).
- You have a tough time following conversations in loud places: When people ask, “What are the signs of hearing loss?”, this one is almost always mentioned. If you have a hard time hearing conversations in noisy places, that’s usually a sure sign that you have hearing loss. This occurs 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 as easily. Lots of conversations get muddled because of this.
So what can you do?
When you break your leg, it’s clear cut what to do: you go to the doctor! But what do you do when you begin to experience the symptoms of hearing loss? How severe does hearing loss have to be to call for a hearing aid? Well, that’s hard to answer, but when you begin detecting these symptoms, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with us. We’ll be able to evaluate the health of your hearing and determine just how serious your hearing loss may or may not be.
And if you do end up needing hearing aids, a hearing test will help determine the best device for your hearing needs. This means you’ll be able to get back to communicating with your friends and loved ones, you’ll understand your grandkids when they give you a call, your co-workers at your morning meeting, and your friends at happy hour.
Call us for a hearing exam so we can help you improve your quality of life.