Helping you every step of the way.

How to Find Out if you Need a Hearing Aid?

a hearing specialist fitting his patient with modern hearing aids

Hearing is one of our precious senses, and it can be alarming if we feel any changes to the way we hear and communicate with the world around us. 

Over 48 million Americans experience hearing loss in some form. While we may expect to lose a little hearing as we reach our senior years, it isn’t always something we have to sit back and accept. There are lots of options out there. 

A decline in hearing can occur at any age and at any time. There are many reasons for a decrease in hearing, and not all are permanent. Viral infections, excessive noise exposure or injury can all leave you with a temporary hearing loss. However, it is essential to check out any changes as soon as you notice them. 

If your hearing loss is an ongoing issue, you may be told you need a hearing aid. There have been many advancements in technology over the years which have given us better sound, more discrete hearing aids, and a comfortable experience for the wearer. A hearing aid can give someone with hearing loss, their life back. They are improving their interaction with the world. But, how do you know if you need a hearing aid? 

First signs of hearing loss

Do you often think other people are talking quietly? If you are in a bar or public space, is it harder to understand a conversation? If so, these could be early warning signs you have a hearing issue. Some other signs to look out for include: 

  • You think everyone around you is mumbling
  • It’s hard to hear conversations on the telephone
  • You have to concentrate harder in movie theatres 
  • Often asking people to repeat themselves
  • Get frustrated quickly and want to socialize less
  • Background noise makes it hard to hear your television or conversations.

If you find yourself having one or more of these issues, then you should make an appointment with an audiologist. It could just be a temporary issue such as wax build-up, however, you could be showing the first signs of hearing loss. 

What will the audiologist do? 

Once you have made your appointment, you will undergo a few tests. This can include an otoscopy, tympanometry and an audiometry test. Your ears will be examined for obstructions, your eardrum will have light pressure applied to see how it responds and then the final test measures the softest sound you can hear. 

Once you have had your tests, they will be charted on an audiogram and from here, your audiologist will know whether there is a medical treatment or if you require a hearing test. 

What happens if I need a hearing aid?

If your results show that you require a hearing aid, you will go through the options with your audiologist. Together you will choose the right device for you, and then you’ll be asked to return for a fitting. You may only need one hearing aid, or you may need one for each ear. Having an aid in both ears may offer additional benefits. 

A hearing aid doesn’t correct your hearing. It amplifies what you hear. You may have found you couldn’t pick up environmental noises such as bird song; the hearing aid will help you to pick up these sounds again. 

The technology we have available today is outstanding. Hearing aids can be so small that most people won’t even realize you are wearing one. Depending on the type you choose with your audiologist they can be molded to fit your ear, this offers a discrete option which is also incredibly comfortable to wear. 

You will be taught how to take care of your hearing aid, how to clean it and also how to take care of any issues which may come up in your daily life. 

It’s essential if you discover you need an aid, to have regular appointments with an audiologist. Hearing loss can be a long, slow decline and your needs may change as you get older or if your condition worsens. By keeping up to date with appointments, you shouldn't have any major changes to your daily life and you will be able to enjoy the world a little bit more. 

Remember that not all hearing loss is permanent so try not to worry if you notice a decline in your hearing. Get checked out as soon as you can. Hearing health is an essential part of your life. 

To learn more about hearing loss go to Independence Hearing or call us at 772-210-1800.