Hearing loss is commonly referred to as an invisible health condition, and early warning signs are often overlooked. Unlike other medical conditions, you can’t physically see the signs of hearing loss. Often the most difficult step in improving your hearing is recognizing you need help.
Hearing loss can develop at any age and can be caused by a number of different factors. Individuals with hearing loss often have difficulty following conversations and understanding the voices of women and children. Most complain that people mumble or talk too fast and many also experience tinnitus, a high-pitched ringing in the ears.
Less than 5 percent of hearing loss in adults can be treated medically or surgically, which means 95 percent of adults with hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids. Hearing aids are high-tech devices that help compensate for a loss of frequency by amplifying sounds and helping replace inaudible high-frequency sounds by replicating them with audible low-frequency sounds. Hearing aids today are small and incredibly powerful, available in a variety of options from invisible solutions that fit deep inside your ear to wireless Behind-The-Ear options that stream audio directly from your television, radio or telephone.
If you’ve noticed a change in your own hearing or the hearing of a loved one, the next step is to schedule a complete hearing evaluation with a hearing care professional in your area.
You may be wondering why it’s important to see a hearing professional when there are other options to purchase hearing aids online or at a big box store. You may also consult with friends, read online reviews, sort through detailed product descriptions, or ask for input on social media sites. Consumer data is just a click away on your smartphone or tablet. Who you see for your hearing healthcare is an important decision.
Hearing professionals are experts with the training and equipment necessary to inspect your ear, determine the degree and type of hearing loss, assess your unique listening needs, and prescribe hearing solutions to fit your lifestyle and budget. No person’s hearing loss is identical to another, and each person’s physical ear configuration is unique.
Only a licensed hearing professional can help you accomplish the following accurately:
- Give accurate hearing examinations and safe ear cleanings
- Determine your degree and type of hearing loss along with possible causes
- Help identify the most appropriate hearing solution for your hearing loss and lifestyle needs
- Work with you to ensure your hearing aid settings are working for your lifestyle, help with repair and maintenance, and help track your hearing loss for any signs of decline throughout the year
Let’s dive a little deeper into the appointment.
At your appointment, the results of your hearing test will be explained to you by your hearing professional. Your hearing professional will ask about your lifestyle and the types of listening environments you frequent to determine the technology and product features that would be most beneficial. You will be able to see the different types of hearing aids and discuss your preference for size, color and invisibility. Your hearing professional will help you narrow down your choice of hearing instruments based on the degree and type of your hearing loss, your lifestyle, the investment you are comfortable making. Insurance coverage and financing options will also be discussed.
Hearing professionals also provide ongoing support and care for your hearing and your hearing aids. The biggest reason to see a hearing professional is to ensure that your hearing aids are personally customized for your unique lifestyle and hearing needs. Your hearing professional is invested in your success and your hearing journey, so you should always be open and honest about what you do and don’t like during fitting and adjustment appointments.
Finally, once you have your hearing aids, your hearing professional will walk you through proper care and maintenance. Hearing aids are advanced technological devices akin to a computer but in a very compact package. After your initial fitting, you will probably see your hearing professional for updated programming, repairs and cleanings as you adjust to and use your hearing aids more. This type of personalized care is not available if your hearing aids are purchased online.
Recognizing, diagnosing and treating hearing loss can profoundly improve quality of life. Acknowledging the presence of hearing loss is the first step toward improving communication with your family and friends. Take the next step to restore your hearing by contacting a professional today.