Understanding Hearing Loss
Hearing loss, as with other medical conditions, is measured in types from mild to profound in severity. Each level of loss presents unique problems with communication. Many people don’t realize they have a hearing loss. Your family and friends may notice the problem before you do. Some common signs of hearing loss are:
- Straining or working harder to hear normal conversation
- Watching the face of a speaker closely to understand what's being said
- Often asking people to repeat themselves
- Misunderstanding what others are saying
- Turning the television or radio up so loud that the volume bothers people around you
- Having ringing in your ears
If you think you are experiencing hearing problems, you need to work with your Healthcare Team:
- An otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) will examine you to find out if there is a medical reason for your hearing loss. If so, then they may recommend a treatment in addition to or instead of hearing aids.
- Your family doctor may also help to determine if you have a hearing loss.
- An audiologist or hearing instrument specialist will perform evaluations to check your hearing ability. The evaluations will assist with selection of hearing aids or referrals for additional medical consultation.
- An audiologist or hearing instrument specialist can also help select the hearing aid best suited for your hearing loss.
Remember, the first step in treatment of a hearing loss is recognizing that a problem exists. From there you must maintain a realistic expectation of medical care and/or the use of hearing aids.