How to Find Out If You Need a Hearing Aid?

an audiologist is fitting a patient with modern hearing aids

According to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, there are currently almost 30 million adults in the United States who could benefit from the use of a hearing aid. As of 2016, there were only three million hearing aid units sold and dispersed within the country. 

That’s quite a gap between those two statistics!

Unfortunately, far too many people don’t recognize that they might need hearings, or even benefit from them. If you struggle to hear people in conversation, or you think people are often mumbling, you might be the perfect candidate for a hearing aid. An audiologist can help you to better determine if a hearing aid will fit your needs. 

But you should first know what some of the most common signs of hearing loss are, so you can better determine when to see an audiologist for help. 

Signs of hearing loss

While the signs of hearing loss might seem fairly obvious, they can be easy for some people to ignore at first, until they start to become worse. Some of the initial signs to look out for include: 

  • You feel like people are speaking too softly
  • You have to ask people to repeat themselves frequently
  • You listen to the TV or radio louder than others
  • You avoid talking on the phone because you can’t understand what’s being said
  • It’s harder for you to understand people when you can’t see their face

One of the reasons people wait to get hearing aids or even to see an audiologist is because often, you can still hear people speaking, but you may have trouble understanding them.

This has to do with the way the brain processes different frequencies. Often, it’s easier to hear lower and mid-range frequencies than higher ones. For those dealing with hearing loss, higher-pitched sounds can be very difficult to hear. Because those sounds are so important to everyday speech, you might find it difficult to understand what people are saying. 

What does an audiologist do?

An audiologist uses special equipment, technology, and problem-solving techniques to determine any hearing issues or auditory disorders people might be dealing with. 

If you find yourself experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of hearing loss listed above, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment with an audiologist to get checked out. Not only will they help you to determine what’s going on with your hearing, but they can help you with different treatment solutions to restore as much of your normal hearing levels as possible. 

One of the ways to do that is through the use of a hearing aid. 

What are the different styles of hearing aids?

There are three main styles when it comes to hearing aids: 

  • In the ear
  • Behind the ear
  • In the canal

An in-the-ear hearing aid works for people with mild-to-severe hearing loss. They are typically custom made and a bit larger, which often allows them to have more features like a longer battery life. They are typically visible to people nearby because of their size, and they might pick up on wind when you’re outside. 

A behind-the-ear hearing aid can work with almost any level of hearing loss. As the name suggests, it hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind it. It tends to be a bit bigger than other types of hearing aids, though there are smaller models on the market today. Because of its size, a behind-the-ear hearing aid can often amplify more sounds than other types. 

An in-the-canal hearing aid can help with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. It is typically molded to fit the inside of your ear for a custom fit and is less visible than most other hearing aids. But, because of its location, it may be more susceptible to getting clogged with wax, which can affect the speaker. 

So, which hearing aid option is right for you? It depends on your specific needs, your lifestyle and different features you might be looking for. If you want to know more about types of hearing aids or if you might be a good candidate for one, feel free to contact Desert Hearing Care at 480-985-2544 for more information or to ask any questions. Our team will be happy to assist you or help you to set up an appointment with an audiologist. You don’t have to strain to hear others in regular conversation or avoid being in small groups because you can’t understand everyone. Instead, let us help you to hear things clearly again!