Do I need a hearing aid?

There are several factors which can trigger hearing loss – it can occur as a side effect of tinnitus or treatment with ototoxic drugs. However, the most common factors for hearing loss are excessive, sustained exposure to noise or simply ageing.

A hearing test lasting a few minutes is all you need to do to diagnose whether or not you have hearing loss. However, simply taking this test is something that most don’t do, until their hearing loss has aggravated. Most people learn to live with their condition till they face great difficulty in living their daily life. So how do you stop it from coming to this point in the first place?
You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Signs of hearing loss
  • Why do I keep having to adjust the volume in my electronic devices?
  • Why are people around me mumbling all the time?
  • Why is background noise around me louder?
  • Why do I need to use the loudspeaker while talking on my mobile phone?
  • “I beg your pardon?”
  • Why are people around me telling me I need hearing aids?
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What are the signs of hearing loss?

The experts at hear.com have the answers to the following questions. If you answered “yes” to even one of the following questions, it is advisable to seek further advice from an Audiologist or an ENT specialist. Please note that these are symptoms of hearing loss that have persisted for a long time.
Temporary hearing loss can cause similar symptoms for a short while, and can be caused by activities like attending a loud concert. Should these symptoms not subside in 2-3 days, it would be advisable to consult a doctor.

1. Have you had to turn up the volume on your electronic devices within the last year?

It can be challenging to diagnose your hearing loss yourself, but changes in your behavior when using a smartphone, television or radio may be a sign of hearing loss.

2. Does it seem like people around you are whispering or mumbling as of late?

There can be multiple situations during the day where one may have to whisper to another – are you facing difficulty in following the other person in such situations?
Hearing loss is progressive, and worsens in small but steady steps. Affected people often automatically start to rely on their other senses for support when their hearing deteriorates. For example, reading the other person’s lips to make it easier to perceive what is being said. However, this causes additional stress on your brain and isn’t a feasible solution in the long run.

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3. Do background noises appear louder while direct speech appears quieter?

It may sound strange, but people with advanced hearing loss often experience this bizarre phenomenon. They find it difficult to follow direct conversation with another person but are able to easily perceive background noise. Think of a camera that is not able to get its subject in focus.

4. Do you switch on the loudspeaker when making a call to better understand the conversation?

The degree of hearing loss can vary from ear to ear, but how can one tell which ear is affected by hearing loss and how badly? Your own behaviour may be the key! If you switch the receiver from one ear to the other while making a call, you can easily determine whether you can hear the person speaking equally well with both ears. People with hearing loss often put their phones on loudspeaker for a balanced hearing experience.

If this is happening far too often, you may require a hearing aid.

5. “I beg your pardon?” “Could you please repeat that?”

You may not notice yourself repeating these phrases, but your counterpart undoubtedly will. People with hearing loss often ask their fellow human beings to constantly repeat what has been said as a means to understand the conversation better.

If you find yourself in such situations frequently, you should definitely have your hearing checked by a professional.

6. Do people around you say you need hearing aids?

Hearing loss is progressive and many people learn to live with poor hearing – but this comes at the cost of inconveniencing others around you. Your friends and family want the best for you and give honest feedback. If they say you need hearing aids, you need not view it as a negative thing. Think of it as an opportunity to better your situation and live your life to the fullest!

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