Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

When do I Need a Hearing Aid?

Princeton Otolaryngology Associates: Dr. Scott L. Kay | Hearing Aid News

Female hand adjusting the radio volume dial to max on a silver radio because she can't hear it.

In some cases, it’s easy to know when you require medical help. When you break your leg, for example, you know you should go to the doctor (or the emergency room, depending on the scenario). With scenarios like this, simply “toughing it out” isn’t an option. At least, not for very long (particularly if you want your bones to mend themselves correctly).

But with regard to hearing aids, it isn’t always so easy to recognize when it’s time to get some assistance. Hearing loss typically progresses very gradually over time. This means it’s not always easy to know when you may need to start wearing hearing aids or to put off seeking treatment you know could be beneficial.

So watching out for indications that your hearing is going is a good idea. If you observe any, it may be time to talk to us about your first set of hearing aids.

Hearing aids and hearing loss

Hearing aids are the main form of treatment for hearing loss. But everybody who has some degree of hearing loss won’t necessarily need hearing aids. In situations where patients have very mild hearing loss, hearing aids won’t always be useful. Because of this, we may want you to wait before beginning to use them. It’s also feasible that we could advise you to only use your hearing aids when you’re in particular situations.

In other words, the threshold for needing hearing aids isn’t always a diagnosis of hearing loss.

However, hearing aids will be the ideal option in many circumstances. Because hearing loss can be a sneaky and gradual condition, lots of people don’t get a diagnosis until there’s been substantial damage. Getting your hearing assessed regularly is the key to catching hearing loss early and possibly mitigating the need for hearing aids.

So how will you know if you have hearing loss?

Signs you need a hearing aid

Instant communication challenges can be the result of hearing loss. But lots of times you don’t even realize that hearing loss is the cause of those communication issues. So, when is it time for a hearing aid?

Here are a few of the common signs you should watch out for:

  • You listen to the radio or TV at high volumes: Hearing loss could be the cause if you continually need to turn the volume of your devices up. This is particularly true if you keep moving that volume knob higher (and even more especially true if the people around you complain about how loud your media is).
  • You’re unable to understand people on the phone: Even the best phone speakers tend to flatten a voice. If you have hearing loss, this can make it even more difficult to understand conversations. Again, specific frequencies are missing and the outcome is that it’s extremely difficult to hear those voices.
  • You have a hard time following conversations in noisy places: This is probably one of the most prevailing symptoms of hearing loss. One of the surest indications of hearing loss is that you have difficulty following conversations in loud settings, like bars or restaurants. That’s because your brain has trouble filling in the missing information that gets lost with hearing impairment. As a result, there’s a lot of muddled conversations.
  • You have trouble understanding what people are saying: Many individuals don’t think they have hearing loss or need hearing aids because the total volume they hear seems fine. But the thing about hearing loss is that specific frequencies of sound usually go before others. Because of this, things like vowel sounds in the higher pitches can sound distorted. This could cause you to have a difficult time understanding what people are saying.

So how should you deal with it?

When you break a bone, it’s clear cut what to do: you go to the doctor! But what about when you detect these signs that you might need a hearing aid? How severe does hearing loss have to be to require a hearing aid? Well, that’s hard to answer, but when you begin experiencing these signs, it’s a good plan to make an appointment with us. We will be able to let you know how serious your hearing loss is.

A hearing test will also help you get the most effective hearing aids for your needs if you do indeed need hearing aids. This means you’ll be able to get back to communicating with your friends and family, you’ll hear your grandkids when they give you a call, your co-workers at your morning meeting, and your friends at happy hour.

Call us for a hearing exam so we can help you improve your quality of life.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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