Short of not being able to hear a word anybody is saying, knowing when it’s time for hearing aids can be difficult. For many of the 48 million Americans in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and the rest of the country, hearing loss comes on so gradually they may not even be aware of a problem until somebody else mentions it. In fact, on average it takes a person seven years from the onset of their hearing loss to seek treatment. By then, damage has progressed, and solutions aren’t as plentiful. The sooner you seek treatment, the more effective the outcome. So, let’s talk about what to look for first.
Signs of Hearing Loss
The most common signs of hearing loss include:
- People seem to mumble when they speak.
- You often ask people to repeat themselves.
- You experience tinnitus (ringing in your ears).
- Others complain that you are watching TV or listening to music too loudly.
- You are unable to hear everyday household sounds (e.g., ringing doorbell).
- You have trouble following conversations in a large group setting, especially when background noise is present.
- You have difficulty hearing when you are not facing the speaker.
- You have trouble understanding every word in a conversation.
- Telephone conversations are difficult for you to follow.
- Others accuse you of speaking too loudly.
Are Hearing Aids the Answer?
That depends on the question. If it’s, “Do I want to treat my hearing impairment, so I can hear better and communicate more effectively with friends and loved ones?” then the answer is yes! In most cases, anyway.
Hearing loss falls under one of three categories. Patients with conductive hearing loss have damage to their outer or middle ear. This type can sometimes be corrected with surgery or medications. However, it’s pretty rare. The majority of individuals suffer from sensorineural hearing loss, also known as nerve deafness. This affects the inner ear and is permanent. Some people experience mixed hearing loss, which affects both the inner and outer or middle ears. 90 percent of people in Massachusetts and New Hampshire with hearing loss experience some form of damage to the inner ear. Hearing aids help most of these individuals reconnect with others and can greatly improve their quality of life.
If you do need hearing aids, there are many different options available. Your audiologist will help you select the right ones based on your type and degree of hearing loss, lifestyle needs, cosmetic preferences, and budget.
What are you waiting for? Make that call today!