Hearing loss is a very common condition that affects around a quarter of people over the age of 65. Hearing aids or “audible telephones” as they were once known are now available in many different styles and designs, so there’s no need to let your hearing get to the point where you can’t even enjoy listening to music anymore. With so many different variations on the market, it can be tricky to know if you need hearing aids. However, there are several key indicators that might mean you need some support from audiology experts with these devices. Here are five signs that you could benefit from hearing aids:
You’re struggling to communicate
If you’re finding that communication is becoming more of a challenge, and you’re having to ask people to repeat themselves more often, this could be a sign that your hearing is degrading. If you find that you have to focus really hard to follow conversations in noisy environments, you might have hearing loss. If you have to keep physically moving closer to someone to hear them, this may be an indicator that your hearing is getting worse, as you’re relying on volume to process the conversation. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, you may find that background noise is impacting your ability to understand speech. If a person is talking in a noisy environment, like a busy office, or while they’re in the car, the sounds of the environment will mask the sound of their voice, making it much harder to understand what they’re saying.
Your hearing has changed over time
If you’ve noticed a gradual decline in your ability to hear over the years, it’s possible you have a condition called age-related hearing loss. This is often referred to as presbycusis and is estimated to affect around 70% of people between the ages of 65 and 75. Your age, genetics, and lifestyle choices, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, can all play a part in the onset of presbycusis. If you’re experiencing progressive hearing loss, you may also have tinnitus, which is commonly linked to hearing loss. There are many different variations of age-related hearing loss. You may have high-frequency hearing loss, which can manifest in a high-pitched sound, or tinnitus, in your ears. Or, you may have low-frequency hearing loss and experience difficulty hearing low-pitched sounds, like a person’s voice.
You have tinnitus as well as hearing loss
If you’re also experiencing tinnitus, which is a constant ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in your ears, this can be a sign that your hearing is declining. Tinnitus can actually be caused by any number of medical conditions, including allergies, medications, and an infection in the ear, but it’s also commonly linked to hearing loss. Tinnitus can be both extremely frustrating and debilitating, making it very difficult to focus on other sounds. If you also have trouble hearing, and you have tinnitus as well, it can make it even more difficult to process speech, especially in noisy environments. If you have tinnitus, you should consult with New Hampshire Hearing Institute audiologists, they’ll be able to help you identify the cause and recommend a treatment.
Your environment is impacting your hearing
If you regularly find yourself struggling to hear in certain environments, such as in large groups or at a busy event, this may indicate that your hearing is impaired. If you excessively turn up the volume of the television or radio in order to hear it better, your hearing may be affected. This can also indicate that you’re experiencing age-related hearing loss, as this is the most common type of hearing loss. If you regularly find that you’re struggling to understand speech in quiet environments, like in a small group of friends, or even in a face-to-face conversation, this can be a sign that you’re experiencing hearing loss.
You feel isolated and lonely
If you’re feeling alone, and your isolation is impacting your quality of life, this could be a sign that you need hearing aids. When your hearing is declining, you may feel isolated and alone, as it can be hard to make friends and engage in social situations. When your hearing is deteriorating, you have to focus much harder to process sound, meaning that you have less attention available to focus on your surroundings. This can make it difficult to engage with others, and make it extremely challenging to engage in small talk.
If you notice any of these signs in your day-to-day life, it’s important to seek help for your hearing loss. When your hearing is declining, it makes it more difficult to enjoy your life. You can visit your audiologist, who will be able to assess your hearing and recommend the best hearing aids for your needs. They will be able to help you choose the best fit for your lifestyle, and use the latest technology to maximize your hearing. With the right hearing aids, you’ll be able to once again enjoy your day-to-day life.