Knowing when you need some medical advice is typically fairly easy. You know you need to go see a doctor right away if you break your leg, for example. You could need a splint or a cast or supportive device, but the thing is that you’re not likely to try “toughing it out”. If you want your bones to heal correctly, you need to get them treated as soon as possible.
But when it comes to hearing aids, it’s not always so easy to identify when it’s time to get some assistance. Hearing loss is typically a progressive condition. This means it’s not always easy to know when you may need to begin wearing hearing aids or to put off seeking treatment you know could be helpful.
So keeping an eye out for signs that your hearing may be going is a good plan. If you observe any, it might be time to talk to us about your first pair of hearing aids.
Hearing aids and hearing loss
Hearing loss is primarily treated with hearing aids. But that doesn’t mean everybody who has hearing loss will immediately need a set of hearing aids. In cases where patients have very minor hearing loss, hearing aids won’t always be practical. Because of this, we may want you to wait before starting to use them. In addition, you may be advised to wear hearing aids only in specific situations.
This means that just because you are diagnosed with hearing loss doesn’t mean you will necessarily require hearing aids.
However, hearing aids will be the best solution in many situations. Many individuals won’t have their hearing loss diagnosed until it becomes more severe because hearing loss advances slowly and frequently goes unnoticed for a while. 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?
Indications you need a hearing aid
Immediate communication problems can be the consequence of hearing loss. But a lot of times you don’t even realize that hearing loss is the reason for those communication issues. So, when is it time for a hearing aid?
Look out for these indicators:
- You can’t understand people on the phone: Even the highest quality phone speakers have a habit of flattening a voice. That can make it hard to understand, especially if you have hearing loss. Again, certain frequencies are cut out and the outcome is that it’s really difficult to hear those voices.
- You have trouble understanding what people are saying: Many people 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 often go before others. Which means that the great majority of sounds could seem normal but things in the high frequencies (like certain vowels) will be distorted. As a result, you might have a hard time understanding what people are saying to you.
- When you’re in very loud settings, you have a hard 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 loud settings, like bars or restaurants. This occurs 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 muddled because of this.
- The volume on your devices is getting really loud: If you’re always turning up the volume on your television or radio or smartphone, it might be the result of hearing loss. This is particularly true if you keep moving that volume knob higher (and even more especially true if the people around you complain about how loud your media is).
So what should you do?
When you break a bone, it’s obvious what to do: you go see the doctor! But what do you do when you start to experience the symptoms of hearing loss? How severe does hearing loss have to be to call for a hearing aid? That’s not a very easy answer but you should make an appointment with us for a hearing assessment if you start to notice any hearing loss symptoms. We will be able to inform you about how severe your hearing loss is.
A hearing test will also help you get the best possible hearing aids for your needs if you do indeed need hearing aids. This means you’ll be able to get back to spending quality time with your friends and family, you’ll understand 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 test so we can help you improve your quality of life.