An estimated 15% of adults in the United States experience hearing loss and many of these patients might meet the requirements for wearing hearing aids.
In the beginning, it’s common for the signs of hearing loss to be mild. You might not notice a big difference in your hearing. But the symptoms can intensify over time, eventually resulting in hearing loss taking a toll on many aspects of your life.
Even though your brain adapts to a loss of hearing, there are things that you are missing if you aren’t proactive about using hearing aids. Hearing loss without treatment often causes people to feel isolated and frustrated in social settings because they cannot participate fully.
What Are The Signs That You Need a Hearing Aid?
If you suspect hearing loss in yourself or a loved one, then it’s essential to pay attention to common signs that could indicate the need to use a hearing aid.
At what point do you need a hearing aid? These signs will help you determine the ideal time to talk to an ENT or audiologist for a hearing test and personalized treatment plan.
- Other People Are Mumbling: Do you find that you are constantly asking other people to repeat themselves? If you have difficulty understanding what others are saying, it could be a sign of hearing loss. Contact a hearing specialist if it seems like others are mumbling or speaking softly.
- TV and Music Volume: Another sign that hearing aids might be necessary is if others often complain about how loud you turn up the TV or music. Whether you are enjoying a Spotify playlist in the kitchen or watching your favorite TV show, the volume can be an indicator that your hearing is starting to fail.
- Difficulty with Phone Conversations: Another common sign that hearing aids might be needed is when you have difficulty understanding others in a phone conversation. If you are talking on the telephone with the volume turned up, and you still can’t hear what they are saying, then it might be time to schedule a hearing test.
- Social Frustrations: Whether you are at a social gathering or trying to hear the sermon at church, it can be frustrating to feel like you can never understand the conversations that are happening. Often, these situations result in frustration, which can lead to isolation and withdrawal because you no longer enjoy social interactions.
- Reading Lips and Body Language: Another indication that you might benefit from hearing aids is if you need to see someone’s face in order to understand what they are saying. If you can’t see someone’s mouth or body language, how difficult is it for you to understand the conversation?
- Hearing But Not Understanding: One of the most common indications that hearing aids are needed is if you can hear things around you but can’t comprehend what you hear. Whether it is speech, music, or other environmental noises, being unable to comprehend what you hear is a sign that you should get a hearing test.
Lifestyle Challenges for People with Mild Hearing Loss
While it’s obvious that hearing aids can be helpful for severe hearing loss, don’t underestimate the available benefits for patients with mild hearing loss.
One common mistake is that people think they can simply turn up the volume on the television or their phone to overcome mild hearing loss. These seemingly minor issues aren’t a big deal, right?!
The truth is that even mild hearing loss can take a toll on overall life experience. Even if you are missing portions of conversations, it can feel impossible to participate fully in these social settings. The comprehension worsens depending on the environment – competing noises make it difficult to understand what other people are saying.
One common trend among people with mild hearing loss is that they can hear sounds and conversations happening, but they don’t understand what is being said.
Consonants start to sound the same, making it difficult to distinguish the differences between “f” and “th” or “t” and “p.” For example, if you have mild hearing loss, then you might not be able to tell the difference between “cap” and “cat.”
Is It Worth Getting a Hearing Aid for Mild Hearing Loss?
The truth is that hearing aids can be essential for people with mild hearing loss. Using this assistive technology helps you avoid listening fatigue, so you don’t have to expend so much energy to get through the day. As a result, hearing aids can set the foundation to help you thrive in your social life, at work, and more.
This amplification helps you stay present and relevant in all social settings. You will be able to understand conversations, perform better in your job, and ensure safety wherever you go.
Some experts have even suggested that untreated hearing loss might be a contributing factor to cognitive decline. If you are proactive about hearing treatments, then it might contribute to brain health in the long run.
Even for people with mild hearing loss, wearing hearing aids can magnify the vibrations of sound so you can detect the noises more effectively.
In fact, delaying the use of a hearing aid can cause hearing problems to worsen over time. Early detection and treatment help you adapt to the technology in order to minimize complications in the future.
Using hearing aids in the early stages of hearing loss not only benefits your hearing but also contributes to your overall quality of life. You will find it easier to communicate, work, and participate in social settings.
Why Would Someone Choose Not to Have a Hearing Aid?
There are various reasons why someone with hearing loss might not choose to wear hearing aids.
- Embarrassment about hearing loss and the desire to hide the condition
- Discomfort using assistive technology
- The stigma of using hearing aids
- People feel like hearing aids make them seem older
- Cost concerns due to gaps in insurance coverage
Will You Benefit from Hearing Aids?
If you suspect any level of hearing loss, then it’s important to reach out to a specialist to schedule a hearing test. The truth is that early diagnosis and treatment ensure the best long-term results.
The first step is to book a consultation with an ENT in the Dallas or Collin County areas. Our team at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is always here to assist at our offices in Plano or Frisco, TX. Access our online form to schedule a visit, or call to learn more about available services: (972) 596-4005.