Hearing loss affects most of us. The causes include ageing and in some cases, it’s due to loud and continuous exposure to noise. The noise damages the sensitive hair cells in the Cochlea, a delicate part of the inner ear. There are different types of Hearing loss. Do you think you have a Hearing loss? And are wondering what to do next? This article answers your questions and will help you to identify and seek advice.
In a majority of the cases, Hearing loss comes in very gradually. It is difficult to detect and is generally neglected in the initial stages. if you suffer from Hearing Loss, it is important to consult an ENT Doctor for a proper check at the earliest. Your ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) Doctor will guide you on the future course of action.
Gradual Hearing Loss
- In case of a gradual Hearing loss, you can see your family Doctor for an initial assessment or an ENT Doctor. Make sure that you carry all your medical records when you visit.
- Also, check if there is a family history of Hearing problems. The Doctor will examine you and may conduct a Hearing test (Audiometry). Or, will direct you to an Audiologist for the test to determine the extent of your loss.
Sudden Hearing Loss
- Consult your Doctor if it’s Sudden Hearing loss. Or, rush to the emergency section of the hospital near you. The earlier you get professional help for the Hearing Loss, the higher the chances of an early cure.
Whom to Consult in Case of Hearing Loss?
You should visit an Audiologist to confirm whether your doubts are correct. You must ask your friends, family for a recommendation for an Audiologist or go to the Helpline on this site. We will guide you to an Audiologist in your locality for setting up an appointment.
Meeting the Audiologist
Discuss your Hearing problems with the Audiologist, give all the possible information. This will help the Audiologist to understand your specific Hearing needs. The Audiologist should be a good listener.
If the next step is using Digital Hearing Aids, discuss your daily activities. Your lifestyle is an important factor and should be your primary concern. Your Lifestyle will decide the style of the Hearing Aid you should use.
The Audiologist will explain the various options available. Hearing Aids have different technical specifications. Your Audiologist will offer different brands of Hearing Aids.
Tips on Trial of New Hearing Aids
You must remember that Hearing Aid machines do not fall under the fit it and forget it category.
- Try a few digital Hearing Aids, choose the one which offers the most speech clarity.
- Request your Audiologist for a “Trial Period” of a few days. Try the Hearing Aid device in actual conditions. After trying, you can select the one that suits your needs.
- Trying out a Hearing Aid for the first time has its own problems. The user will start Hearing sounds which may be too loud and uncomfortable. It is not necessary that the very first Hearing Aid you try out will suit you.
- The programming or tuning feature in Digital Hearing Aids suits the hearing loss. You should provide feedback to the Audiologist about the issues with the new Hearing aid. This will help them to adjust the digital Hearing Aids better.
Issues Faced With Hearing Aid Settings
The moment you move out into the normal surroundings you will hear a lot of new sounds. These noises can be the traffic, cars honking, construction activity or people talking. These were the sounds which did not exist for you earlier. You were missing these sounds due to your Hearing loss. Your brain needs some time to get used to the new sounds. It takes a few days before you get comfortable with your new Digital Hearing Aids.
Tips to get used to your New Hearing Aids
- Continue to use the Hearing Aids within the comforts of your house in a silent environment. If you feel uncomfortable, use for an hour or two a day. Increase the usage slowly by an hour or so after some days.
- Meet your Audiologist if the issues continue and you are still not comfortable. Request your Audiologist for readjustment.
- Note down all the problems/issues like high background noise, unable to hear the phone ring etc.
This will help the audiologist to adjust the Hearing Aids better. This process is interactive and may need more than one visit to the Audiologist. He will fine-tune your Hearing Aids. If repeated adjustments do not work. Request your Audiologist for a trial of a different model or Company.
Acceptance of your Hearing Loss is important if you want to overcome the deficiency. In the western countries, 3 out of 10 persons over 60 have a Hearing loss. In India, the ratio will be much higher as noise pollution is very high in the Cities. The sooner you accept your Hearing loss and seek help, the happier you will be. Do not feel embarrassed to wear a Hearing Aid. “It’s easier to hide a Hearing Aid than to hide a Hearing Loss”. Using a Hearing Aid device will improve your lifestyle and increase social interactions. It will also improve efficiency at your workplace.