How to Know if You Need to Wear a Hearing Aid - Attune
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How to Know if You Need to Wear a Hearing Aid

Wear a Hearing Aid

One in six Australians is estimated to live with hearing loss. Most commonly caused by the natural ageing process, hearing loss can range from mild to severe. Besides age, there are many other causes of hearing loss, including loud noises, injury, disease and genetics, meaning young people and children can also experience hearing loss. 

With today’s advances in technology, hearing loss can be remedied with devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. Everyone’s level of hearing loss is unique to them, so you may not notice a decline in your hearing ability at first. Even if you do, your first thought may not be to make an appointment or how a hearing aid may be able to help. 

Determining your level of hearing loss and whether you can benefit from a hearing aid can only be accurately diagnosed through the help of a professional. Hearing aids help people with more than just their hearing; they can provide a sense of confidence and safety and help people adjust to the changes in their health. To determine if you or a loved one could benefit from hearing aids, we have compiled a guide on the signs of hearing loss and the benefits of hearing aid devices. 

How to Determine if You Need a Hearing Aid  

1. Look for the signs of hearing loss 

What leads most people into exploring whether they could benefit from a hearing aid is symptoms of hearing loss. While some people may choose not to seek the help of hearing aids due to social stigma, finances or denial, most people benefit from the assistance of hearing aid technology. 

Hearing loss can be connected to a lower quality of life, poorer general health and mood disorders like anxiety and depression. So, seeking out a professional opinion before dismissing the need for a hearing aid is vital. 

Everyone’s first experience with hearing loss is different depending on its cause. Was it a gradual oncoming or sudden? Are you newly diagnosed, or have you experienced these signs over a long? Some of the signs you may notice could include: 

  • Trouble understanding conversations, particularly in loud and distracting environments. 
  • Difficulty hearing over mobile devices. 
  • Ringing in your ears (known as tinnitus. Note that tinnitus can be caused by other factors). 
  • Difficulty understanding people when you cannot see their faces. 
  • You frequently increase the volume on the TV or mobile device. 
  • You ask people to repeat themselves frequently. 
  • Noticing particular sounds seem muffled or are harder to understand. 
  • Ear sensitivity to particular sounds. 
  • You become frustrated as people appear harder to understand due to mumbling or speaking softly. This can include impatience, irritability and withdrawal from social situations. 
  • You are straining your hearing while trying to follow conversations. 
  • You feel ear pain in response to certain sounds. 

As you can see, there are multiple symptoms of hearing loss. Some of these symptoms are experienced by people without hearing loss. So, it’s important to note that if you experience multiple of these, you may have some level of hearing loss that requires an audiology examination. If you realise you are becoming frustrated experiencing any of these symptoms or feel a loss of confidence or quality of life, it is important to consider hearing aids. 

Attend a hearing evaluation

2. Attend a hearing evaluation 

If you’ve realised you could be experiencing hearing loss, the next step is to contact your local audiologist to schedule a diagnostic hearing assessment. As audiology specialists who provide a range of hearing services, Attune is proud to provide comprehensive diagnostic assessments of the auditory system (hearing) and the vestibular system (balance). 

Your audiological evaluation at Attune will determine:

  • The degree and type of hearing loss.
  • Identify the location of the lesion within the auditory system producing the problem.
  • Recommend hearing aid fitting and/or other audiological management when appropriate.
  • Help to establish the cause of the hearing loss.
  • Estimate the extent of the communication impairment and recommend the appropriate treatment.

During your audiology evaluation 

During your appointment, the trained audiologist will perform tests to determine the degree of your hearing loss. These include assessing your auditory system (hearing) and a vestibular system (balance). At Attune, the following metrics are examined during your audiology evaluation: 

  • Pure Tone Audiogram (PTA) is a complete diagnostic hearing assessment that involves three different test types: 
  • Hearing Test – You are asked to listen to sounds played through headphones and asked to respond by pressing a button. 
  • Speech Discrimination Test – You are asked to repeat words heard through headphones. 
  • Middle Ear Test – This is an automatic test where a small plug is placed in the ear and measures eardrum movement. This helps us determine the nature of hearing loss. The test takes a couple of minutes. 

The tests, which are pain-free and non-invasive, are conducted by audiologists who take a holistic approach to hearing health. Each member of our team is dedicated to ensuring each visit is as easy and comfortable as possible. 

Once your results have been determined, we will discuss the findings and hearing options if a treatment option is beneficial. 

Expect From a Hearing Aid

What to Expect From a Hearing Aid

Depending on your hearing test results, the type of hearing aid you are recommended will vary. Unlike glasses that correct your eyesight when wearing them, hearing aids are assistant devices that amplify sounds in a particular range of pitches. Included in these ranges are sounds related to speech or environmental sounds. While hearing aids won’t restore your hearing similarly to someone who doesn’t have hearing loss, you can confidently expect a difference in your hearing. These changes are specific to your level of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss you have and the technology of hearing aid you use. For this reason, you can’t expect the same outcome as someone else with hearing aids. 

The good news is hearing aids have the ability to make an impact on the overall quality of your life. Some of the benefits you can expect to experience from using your recommended hearing aid can include: 

  • Greater independence and feeling of safety. 
  • Improved relationships with others. 
  • Improved ability to focus at school or work.
  • Greater confidence in social settings.  
  • Less frustration from struggling with hearing loss. 
  • Improved mental health and quality of life. 
  • Reduced tinnitus. 
  • Decreased risk of cognitive decline. 

Start Your Hearing Journey Today with Attune 

Remember, when you first wear your hearing aid there will be a time of adjustment where you will be getting used to assisted hearing. This period is different for everyone, but it could take up to four months to become familiarised with your new hearing aid. 

It’s important to not be discouraged during this trial period, as it’s common for multiple adjustments to be made to new hearing aid devices. So remain patient and allow enough time for yourself to adjust to your new device and allow your audiologist to fine-tune your hearing aid to you. To help you adjust during this period, there are also numerous tips you can implement to make your transition to assisted hearing easier. 

We hope these signs of hearing loss have aided you in determining whether a hearing aid is beneficial for you. If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, we would like to encourage you to book an appointment at your local Attune clinic via calling us on 1300 736 702 or online. Our team of audiologists will ensure each and every visit in our clinics is supportive, so your hearing journey is as easy as possible. 

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