Hearing loss often feels like it creeped into your life out of nowhere. One day, the sound coming from the TV was a bit more distant, and you found yourself having to ask your friends and loved ones to repeat themselves more often. While hearing loss often makes certain daily tasks more challenging, it also has an effect on your personal relationships. In fact, you might even avoid going out to eat with friends or attending your favorite workout class because it’s too hard to understand what’s being said.
You’ve thought about getting hearing aids before, but you have some apprehension about making a change to your current lifestyle. So when is it time to get hearing aids? Join us as we help you discover when it’s time to consider hearing aids and how they improve your quality of life.
What Are the Signs of Hearing Loss?
When you’re trying to decide whether or not to invest in hearing devices, it’s important to know the signs of hearing loss. After all, hearing loss not only has an impact on your communication, but also can spark changes in your behavior. Some of the most common signs of hearing loss include:
- You’re regularly asking people to repeat themselves during a conversation.
- You’ve had to increase the normal volume level of your TV or radio.
- You’ve noticed that you’re more frustrated or irritable than before.
- You have a hard time understanding what’s being said over the phone.
- You have trouble understanding people when you can’t see their face.
- You often think that people are mumbling or talking too quietly.
If you can relate to at least three of the signs listed above, it’s time to consider hearing aids. Your first step should be scheduling an appointment with your doctor to get your hearing tested in a medical setting. They’ll be able to help you identify if your hearing loss is present in one ear or both.
What Are the Types of Hearing Loss?
The three main types of hearing loss are:
- Sensorineural: This form of hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear or the degeneration of an inner nerve, and is very common as part of the aging process. Part of what makes sensorineural hearing loss concerning is that there are cases where it happens suddenly.
- Conductive: Conductive hearing loss happens when the sound waves aren’t able to regularly reach the inner ear. There are a variety of causes for this type of hearing loss, ranging from impacted ear wax to damage to the eardrum. Conductive hearing loss can often be reversed at times with medical or surgical assistance.
- Mixed: This is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
Do You Need One Hearing Aid or Two?
When you’re thinking about getting hearing aids, you’ll have to decide whether to get them for one ear or both. If your doctor or audiologist has noticed that you have hearing loss in both ears, you’ll want to get a hearing device for each one. By using two hearing devices, you’ll have an improved ability to understand background noises, reduce the chance of experiencing feedback from a hearing aid, and have better grasp of locating the source of a sound.
What to Expect from Hearing Aids
While hearing devices often improve quality of life for people who use them, hearing aids amplify sounds within a set range to make them easier to notice. Once you have hearing aids in, you’ll notice that certain sounds from the outside environment, like a bird chirping, will be more distinct against all the other background noises.
Even though the technology behind hearing devices has come a long way, there are some limitations to how well they can amplify speech when other noises are present. That’s why many doctors and audiologists will recommend that you still practice communication strategies when you’re in a conversation.
While getting a hearing device can seem a little intimidating at first, they can drastically improve your quality of life just like moving to an independent living community.
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