Hearing aids have come a long way in recent times and now do much more than just allowing you to hear better. The top models, for instance, let you take phone calls, listen directly to the TV and control the volume, and even allow you to stream music to them via your phone. They’re technological marvels that boost your hearing, wellbeing and quality of life.
And, they’re not the clunky devices of the past that everyone could see. Instead, they’re slim and sleek pieces of sophisticated technology that you can barely see and could even be mistaken for the popular earbuds that so many of us wear to listen to music while on the go. Some digital hearing aids offer features, such as tinnitus masking, that make it easier to lower the volume on bothersome sounds.
Not everyone needs hearing aids, but for some people, they're a real life-saver. If you're having trouble with your hearing, it's best to visit your doctor or hearing aid clinic and have it checked out. Here are some signs you might need to make an appointment and get hearing aids.
The TV Volume Seems Too Low
One of the most common signs that people are having trouble with their hearing — especially the elderly — is that they can't hear the TV or radio properly and keep turning up the volume. It can get to such a high level that family members might immediately think there's a hearing issue because the volume is far too loud for them. You might not necessarily need hearing aids, as it could be something like a buildup of earwax, and all you need is a syringing — also known as ear irrigation — but it's time to get it checked nonetheless.
Asking People to Speak Louder
Another typical sign of hearing loss is when you're finding it difficult to make out conversations. This is particularly the case in noisy settings like a cafe or bar that has lots of people. The person sitting in front of you could be talking away, but you either hear muffled speech or only pick up certain words, and so you keep asking them to either speak louder or repeat what they're saying, or both.
Missing Phone Calls or Not Understanding Them
People with various degrees of hearing loss — from mild to moderate and severe, or profound — will sometimes not hear the phone ring, even if their mobile phone is in their pocket. That's because they may no longer be picking up all the various frequencies of sound. It may be that they've now set their phone to vibrate instead of ring so that they'll feel it when someone calls. And it's also possible that when they do take a call, they have trouble hearing what the caller is saying. It can be the same with doorbells and car and house alarms, although the latter two are usually high-pitched, and there's more of a chance that someone with hearing loss will hear them when they go off.
Feeling Tired and Frustrated
Fatigue and upset are other effects of hearing loss. Struggling to hear what people are saying — and not really hearing anything much at all — can be exhausting. This is called listening fatigue, and it's mostly due to the brain not being able to comprehend information because parts of the ear responsible for hearing may not be working properly. And so, the brain has to work much harder to try and understand speech and other sounds.
Withdrawing from Life
People suffering from hearing loss may avoid social gatherings because of their difficulty in making out what people are saying; they may even find it embarrassing. This has the effect of making them feel isolated, and it can lead to depression and make the person's life a misery. They might also lose or quit their job because of their difficulty, further impacting their enjoyment of life and ability to earn an income.
Thankfully, these troublesome experiences can quickly be remedied by a trip to the hearing aid clinic and having hearing aids fitted if necessary — instantly restoring your hearing and quality of life.