If you believe that you have hearing loss, you may have considered whether you need a hearing aid. Unfortunately, if you haven’t experienced hearing loss before, you might not know the right time to intervene. In general, most patients wait many years before going for a checkup.

The solution is to go for regular hearing tests every couple of years if you’re under the age of 60, and every year if you’re over that age. These tests can detect whether you have any hearing impediment in any part of the range. They can also tell you the degree of your hearing loss, and which devices are best for correcting it.

How To Tell If Hearing Aids Are Right for Your Hearing Loss?

Hearing aids are suitable for various types of hearing loss across the spectrum. The Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), categorizes five main types of hearing loss, starting with the mildest and then proceeding to the most profound.

Mild Hearing Loss

People with mild hearing loss struggle to hear sounds quieter than 40 decibels (dB). These include someone whispering or the sound of birdsong outside a window. In many cases, people with mild hearing loss don’t know they are hard of hearing, which is why it is so important to visit a hearing instrument specialist regularly.

Moderate Hearing Loss

Moderate hearing loss applies to people who struggle to hear sounds between 41-55dB. Sounds in this range include people talking normally or a refrigerator humming in the background.

Around half of people with moderate hearing loss require a hearing aid to listen to normal conversation. Assistive hearing devices offer much-need amplification to allow them to pick up at a similar level as before. In some cases, low-cost personal sound amplification devices may be sufficient.

Moderately Severe Hearing Loss

People with moderately severe hearing loss can’t hear sounds under 56-70dB. Sounds in this range include things like a washing machine cycling up or passing traffic. Modern hearing aids are specially calibrated to help people with hearing loss in this range. They have software that makes it easier for wearers to pick up on conversation around them and stop relying so much on other speech recognition techniques, such as lip reading.

Modern devices negate the need for wearers to constantly increase the amplification. Digital technologies can emphasize speech and voices, without elevating annoying background noise.

Severe Hearing Loss

People with severe hearing loss almost always know that they have a problem with their hearing. Patients in this category cannot hear sounds quieter than 71-90dB. For example, they may not be able to hear the noise of a nearby motorcycle engine revving up.

Virtually everyone in this category requires a hearing aid to hear conversation. They may also need implanted hearing devices.

Profound Hearing Loss

Lastly, people with profound hearing loss can struggle to hear even very loud sounds, such as aircraft taking off or concert music.

In cases of profound hearing loss stage, hearing aids lose some of their effectiveness. That’s because no matter how much amplification they provide, they cannot overcome damage to the middle or inner ear. While they can amplify noise, the ear itself can no longer take and process the sound information.

In some cases, people with profound hearing loss use smartphone technology to transcribe speech around them, or they use sign language.

Signs You Need A Hearing Aid

Hearing loss can be difficult to detect, particularly in the early stages. Therefore, you’ll want to look out for the following signs:

  • Persistent ringing, humming or other noise in your ears that doesn’t originate from outside of your body
  • Regularly asking people around you to repeat themselves
  • Turning up the volume on the television or your radio
  • Increased sensitivity or pain when you hear certain sounds
  • Difficulty hearing what other people are saying, particularly in noisy environments
  • Difficulty hearing what people are saying over the phone
  • Finding it hard to hear certain consonants in speech, such as S and F
  • Trouble hearing women’s and children’s voices
  • Experiencing some sounds as distant or muffled

Get A Hearing Aid Evaluation

If you think that you might have hearing loss and require a hearing aid, come and speak to Sound Choice Hearing. As hearing instrument specialists, we can help you find the right device for you, regardless of your level of hearing loss. Call us today at (505) 565-7960.