Do I Need Hearing Aids?

in Tuscaloosa, AL

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Do I Need Hearing Aids?

Hearing aids will amplify and separate the sounds that you hear. Signs that may point to needing hearing aids may be thinking others are always mumbling or having more and more trouble understanding group conversations. 

Knowing the Signs of Hearing Loss

There are a number of warning signs that happen early that could be related to hearing loss. You may also notice certain changes in behavior. You may start to:

  • Complain that people around you are talking too softly or mumbling
  • Turn the television or radio on louder than other people
  • Play videos on your phone or other electronic devices at full volume
  • Have trouble understanding what people are saying in public gatherings, such as classes and meetings
  • Have difficulty understanding what a caller is saying on the telephone
  • Strain hard to understand what others are saying while in a group setting
  • Ask people to repeat themselves over and over again
  • Have trouble understanding what people are saying if you cannot see their face
  • Not understand the dialogue during movies or shows
  • Become more irritable, impatient, and frustrated than before
  • Withdraw from social events due to your difficulties hearing

I can hear people, but understanding them is hard- why is that?

A very common type of hearing loss that men and women experience is when a person has normal or close to normal hearing when it comes to the lower, mid-pitched sounds, such as vowels, but has trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, such as consonants. 

Vowels such as “a, ah, e, o, ooh” have a lot of their energy coming from the lower pitches or frequencies. Because of that, they can be easier to hear. Higher pitched consonant sounds, such as “f, s, sh, th” are usually softer and harder to hear. However, the higher pitched consonant sounds are the ones that are more critical when trying to understand someone speaking. 

When you are in normal conversation, the speech around you may sound loud enough. But, it lacks the clarity you need to understand exactly what is being said. The problem can become worse when there is a distance between the person you are talking to and yourself or if there is a lot of background noise. 

What can I expect my hearing aids to do?

Hearing aids are not like glasses – they will not correct your hearing back to what it should be. Instead, a hearing aid will amplify the sounds you hear in a certain range of pitches, which is the range that your hearing loss actually exists in. Included in the sounds you hear will be people talking or environmental sounds such as traffic noises, ringing bells, singing birds, and conversations from close-by tables in a restaurant. 

The technology that makes hearing aids is excellent. However, it is important to remember that the device is actually just an “aid” and will not work as well as two functioning ears will. Because of this, it is very important to consider other communication strategies when you are in a loud environment, even with hearing aids in. 

Will I need one or two hearing aids?

If you are experiencing hearing loss in both of your ears, then there will be a greater benefit to you if you use a device for each ear. You’ll want to talk to the specialists at Alabama Ear, Nose &Throat Specialists about your specific needs, as there are exceptions to this rule. The following are just a few of the benefits you will get from two hearing aids:

  • You’ll understand speech even with background noise
  • Less possibility of feedback, or hearing aid whistling
  • An ability to locate the source of a certain sound easier

Dr. Shields and Dr. Benoit are here to make sure you have the best experience when it comes to hearing loss and your need for hearing aids. Contact the office today to learn more. 

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