Hearing loss can emerge suddenly, slowly or be present at birth. No matter how your hearing loss has developed, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of hearing loss, and to know what to do if you suspect you or someone you love is suffering from a loss of hearing. Below we will discuss the most common signs of hearing loss, how to have your hearing tested and the most popular types of hearing aids available.
Common Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can affect people in different ways. However, there are some symptoms that are more common than others. The most common hearing loss symptoms include experiencing muffled hearing, and hearing someone speak, but being unable to distinguish specific words. Another commonality between people with hearing loss is a bothersome ringing, roaring or buzzing in the ears. These symptoms are usually associated with a condition called tinnitus, which can be an indicator of hearing loss. At home, someone experiencing hearing loss may listen to the TV or radio at higher levels than they did in the past. Lastly, there are some physical symptoms that could indicate hearing loss including pus or fluid leaking from the ear.
How to Have Your Hearing Tested
If you suspect that you may be suffering from hearing loss, it is important to make an appointment with a professional audiologist. An audiologist has the experience and knowledge to conduct tests to determine if you have experienced any hearing loss. The most common test an audiologist will perform is a conditioned play activity (CPA). This test is in no way painful, and is usually completed in just a few minutes. During the test, the audiologist will play different sounds at varying volumes, and the person being tested must raise their hand, or press a button when they hear the sound. Based on the results of this test, an audiologist can determine if you have experienced hearing loss, and if so, how much loss has occurred.
If it is determined that you do have hearing loss, an audiologist can make recommendations for hearing aids that will be appropriate for you. Not all hearing aids are appropriate for all people. More importantly there are different hearing aid recommendations for different degrees of hearing loss, and different ages of hearing loss sufferers.
Hearing Aid Options
There are a variety of hearing aids available on the market. The most popular hearing aid types are listed below.
Completely in the Canal Hearing Aids
Completely in the canal hearing aids are the least noticeable type of hearing aid on the market. This discreet hearing aid makes using the telephone very easy. However, unlike other hearing aids, this hearing aid generally has a very short battery life, and has no extra features such as volume control.
In the Canal Hearing Aids
In the canal hearing aids are custom molded to a wearers ear. The hearing aid fits partly in the ear canal, and is recommended for hearing loss sufferers with mild to moderate hearing loss. Designed primarily for adults, this hearing aid can be uncomfortable for people who have small ear openings.
Behind the Ear Hearing Aids
Behind the ear hearing aids are the most noticeable to wear. The hearing aids go over the top of the ear and set gently behind the ears. This type of hearing aid is appropriate for all types of hearing loss, and wearers of all ages.
If you suspect you may have issues with your hearing, schedule an appointment with an audiologist. With so many hearing aid options available, there is no reason to miss out on all the exciting sounds and conversations going on in the world.
Christopher R. Watson is an audiologist. His passion is helping people, and he enjoys sharing his insights on the importance of hearing health by blogging on a variety of websites. Visit HealthyHearing.com for more details.