How do I know if I suffer from hearing loss?
To determine whether you suffer from hearing loss it is best to consult a licensed Audiologist or medical professional at Connect Hearing who will properly assess your hearing ability. Often, people who suffer from hearing loss recognize that they have a reduced ability to communicate as they find speech or conversation more difficult to follow. There are many signs of hearing loss, and if it is suspected, then be sure to have tests done to ensure it is diagnosed and treated properly and to also ensure that it is not a symptom of another ailment or disease.
What are some symptoms of hearing loss?
Everyone's hearing is unique, so everyone experiences hearing loss in different ways. Here are some of the common symptoms:
- You often miss certain words or find yourself confusing words or misunderstanding conversations.
- You frequently ask the speaker to repeat what was said.
- Your family members or friends have expressed concern about your hearing.
- You avoid certain social situations (the theater, restaurants, parties) because it's difficult to hear.
- You have difficulty understanding telephone conversations.
- You turn up the volume on the radio or television to levels that are too loud for others.
- You have difficulty following conversations in groups or in the presence of background noise.
- You have difficulty hearing outdoor sounds such as birds or the wind.
- You have ringing or buzzing in your ear.
Where should I go to have my hearing tested?
There are many options. Audiologists are university-trained hearing care professionals who hold masters and doctoral degrees in Audiology. Hearing Instrument Specialists (HIS) are hearing professionals that are specifically trained in hearing aids and their function. Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physicians specialize in hearing losses that are medically treatable. Most hospitals and many universities have an audiology clinic that provides testing.
Does earwax cause hearing loss?
Earwax, also called "cerumen", is an oily substance your body creates to protect your ear canal. Many people are concerned they produce too much earwax, but there's generally no cause for concern. It's possible for earwax to build up and partially or completely obstruct the ear canal. This can result in a mild to moderate hearing loss. Most of the time, once the wax is removed the hearing is restored. Your Connect Hearing health care professional can let you know if you have a wax buildup and how it can be removed.
How much do hearing aids cost?
The cost of hearing aids has actually decreased relatively over time, when compared to the rate of inflation. Today, hearing aids range from approximately $1250 to $3300 each, depending on the technology selected. Several factors contribute to the cost of hearing aids, including: research and development costs; customization of each hearing aid to fit the needs of the wearer; manufacturing costs; and time spent with the professional who selects, fits, programs, adjusts and services the instruments.
Averaged over the lifetime of the instruments (3 - 5 years or more), the cost per day of a pair of highly featured, advanced digital hearing aids is about $3 less than a large latte at your favorite coffee shop. And hearing aids are proven to not only help you hear better, but to actually improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss and their families. It's a worthy investment to make. Connect Hearing offers payment plans to enable this life changing investment.
What sort of changes will I have to make in my life once I have hearing aids?
First, understand that hearing aids will not completely restore your hearing. What it will do is enhance and process sound so you can hear better. Since hearing loss is gradual, over the years you may have become unaccustomed to normal environmental sounds such as traffic noise, the hum of a refrigerator or background conversation. When you begin wearing hearing aids, you will need to re-educate your brain to practice selective listening, the ability to choose only those sounds you wish to hear.
Wear your hearing aids as much as possible so you will become skilled at recognizing sound direction and learning what hearing aid settings work best in different situations.
How many people have hearing loss?
Nearly 35 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. That means over 11% of Americans have hearing loss and 60% of people with hearing loss are below retirement age.