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What Level of Hearing Loss Requires the Use of a Hearing Aid?

hearing specialist measuring hearing ability of patient

The first sign of hearing loss is often difficulty understanding conversations, especially in noisy environments. This can also manifest as tinnitus or ringing in the ears. But what if you’ve been experiencing these symptoms for years? How would you know if it’s something more serious?

Hearing loss is a complex condition and it can be difficult to diagnose.

This article will take a look at some of the most common symptoms and signs of hearing loss, how it is diagnosed and explore some possible solutions. If you are experiencing problems with your hearing, please read on to learn more about this important topic.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Problems with your hearing can come from many sources: a buildup of earwax, a middle ear infection, a cold or sinusitis that affects your hearing or even a head injury. So how do you know if something more serious is going on?

Signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:

  • Muffling of speech and other sounds  
  • Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd.
  • Withdrawal from conversations 
  • Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly.

Unfortunately, allowing hearing loss to remain untreated can lead to some serious consequences. The most recent studies highlight the social, psychological, cognitive and health effects of untreated hearing loss. These effects can vary as well, but all have serious impacts on your quality of life.

Diagnosing Hearing Loss

A complete diagnostic evaluation is an important first step in evaluating your ability to hear and process speech. If you think you have hearing loss, it’s important to determine the degree and type of hearing loss you have.

First, your audiologist will review your medical history. If you have diabetes, asthma, cancer or heart disease, it’s important to let the audiologist know. Treatment for these conditions can affect your hearing. It’s also helpful to bring a list of all medications and supplements you take to your appointment. 

If you think you may have hearing loss, the first step is to visit your doctor and get a hearing test. The most common type of hearing test is the audiogram.

An audiogram is a general screening that measures how well you can hear sounds at different pitches. This test will tell your audiologist whether there's a problem with the shape of your ear canal and nerve damage in your ear.

Each ear is tested individually, and the results of each ear are evaluated separately as well as how they impact your overall ability to hear. If you have hearing loss, the audiologist will make recommendations that may include wearing hearing aids and strategies to help you understand speech better. 

What Can Be Done to Treat Hearing Loss?

The good news is that most cases of hearing loss are treatable. There are a variety of things you can do to help improve your hearing.

  • Get a hearing test: If you suspect that you might have or are developing hearing loss, make sure to get an evaluation to find out for sure. Hearing tests aren’t typically painful. They will also tell you what type of hearing loss you have and what caused it.
  • Treat your hearing loss: Treating your hearing loss is the first step toward a healthier, happier life. Wearing a hearing aid can enrich your life and reopen many doors that may have closed for you over the years. Wearing a hearing aid can enrich your life and reopen many doors that may have closed for you over the years. Other benefits of treating your hearing loss with hearing aids include hearing nature again, enjoying parties and understanding conversations.
  • Do everything possible to avoid further damage: Damage from prolonged exposure to loud noise will only worsen your condition, so try not spend too much time around very loud sounds or wear ear protection whenever possible

The best way to know how to get help is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist. They will be able to help determine the type and degree of hearing loss you have. From there, an audiologist will be able to suggest a type and style of hearing aid that can help you begin to live a happier, more fulfilled life.

If you think you or a loved one experiences hearing loss, don't delay another day. Visit an audiologist and take the first step toward a world of better hearing.

Hinderliter Hearing Services prides itself on a personalized and friendly approach. Whether you are having trouble hearing, need assistance with your existing hearing aids or want to learn more about our many services, Hinderliter Hearing Services is ready to help! To schedule an appointment you can call us today at (248) 430-8425.