Wouldn’t I already know if I had hearing loss?
Few audiologists routinely screen for hearing loss. Since most people with hearing impairments hear fine in quiet environments, it can be a very difficult problem for your audiologist to recognize.
How do I know if I have a hearing problem?
Most of the time hearing loss begins so gradually that it goes unnoticed. Here are the top warning signs that’ll help you determine whether hearing loss is present:
- People seem to mumble more frequently
- You hear, but have trouble understanding
- You often ask people to repeat themselves
- Telephone conversation is more difficult
- You can’t hear household sounds like a faucet dripping or a clock ticking
- It’s hard to hear without seeing the speaker’s face
- You are told you speak too loudly
- People say you play radio or TV too loudly
- There is ringing or buzzing in your ears
- Conversations are difficult in a large group
- You have trouble following conversations with more than two people
- You struggle to hear in crowded places like restaurants and malls
- You have a hard time hearing women or children
I might have a hearing problem. What should I do?
You should make an appointment with an Audiologist or Hearing Care Professional to determine the type and amount of your hearing loss. Depending on the test results, they may also recommend you the required hearing aids. If your child might have a hearing loss, it’s best to talk with your pediatrician who can refer you to an audiologist for testing and treatment.
What causes hearing loss?
The majority of hearing loss cases involve damage to the inner ear. Most commonly, hearing loss occurs because aging and/or long-term exposure to loud noise has caused wear and tear on the part of the inner ear that sends sound signals to the brain. Scientific research has also linked hypertension and diabetes to hearing loss since it can cause damage to the inner ear too. This type of hearing loss can only be corrected with properly fit hearing aids, and it cannot be reversed.
Some other causes of hearing loss are not permanent and may be treated medically. These include excessive ear wax (cerumen), infections of the middle ear, and malfunctions of the middle ear bones. A complete diagnostic hearing test can identify which type of hearing loss you might have and whether medical treatment can help.
How do hearing aids work?
In their simplest form, hearing aids are electronic devices that pick up and amplify sound. Sounds that you normally wouldn’t hear are increased in volume so you hear them better. Hearing instruments do much more than amplify sound. Our sophisticated circuitry is programmed by your Audiologist or Hearing Care Professional to meet your unique hearing loss, and our high-tech features are selected based on your lifestyle. Hearing instruments are designed to not only improve your hearing, but your life.
How do I know hearing aids will work for me?
Consumers who buy hearing aids are entitled to a trial period from the time of fitting. During this period, your Audiologist or Hearing Care Professional will work with you to ensure your complete satisfaction. You will have follow up visits to fine tune your instruments, and if necessary, any changes to the style or circuitry can be made.
How can hearing aids enhance my quality of life?
Hearing aids can improve your quality of life by improving your self-confidence and lowering your stress level. It’s hard to be confident when you are unsure of your hearing.
They also can improve your:
- Personal relationships. After all, successful relationships depend on successful communication.
- Job performance. Hearing aids eliminate the need to constantly ask “What?” or “Can your repeat that?” and keep you on top of your game.
- Safety. You don’t want to miss hearing a smoke alarm, the house being broke into, a dog barking at a stranger, an oncoming car when you’re walking, or an ambulance when you’re driving.
Will hearing aids restore my hearing?
No hearing aid can restore your hearing to normal. However, hearing aids will let you to hear soft sounds that you couldn't hear before. Your hearing aids will also help you better understand speech.
Will I need one or two hearing aids?
Most people that have hearing loss due to damage of the inner ear will have about the same degree of loss in both ears and will need to wear two hearing aids. If you only have a hearing loss in one ear, you might only need to wear a hearing aid in your bad ear.
Wearing two hearing aids has been proven to improve speech understanding in noise, localization (finding the source of sounds), and overall sound quality when compared to wearing only one aid. Today, over 80% of all hearing aid fittings are binaural, or involve both ears.
Won't hearing aids make me look old? Won’t they cramp my style?
Today’s hearing aids are smaller and designed to be discreet. Many are nearly undetectable even close up. One model actually sits completely in the canal of your ear so as to be practically invisible when worn. There are even fashionable, meant-to-be seen hearing aids in fun color combinations and exotic flowery flourishes!
How much do hearing aids cost?
Prices vary widely by the technology incorporated in the hearing aids, the options selected, and the services included with the purchase. Your hearing aids will depend on your type of hearing loss and your specific needs. Many hearing professionals offer financing plans and options to meet all budgets.