People are more self-reliant than ever. Want to fix up your car? Just watch that YouTube video. Want to unclog your sink? YouTube video. Want to learn how to do calligraphy? YouTube… look, you get the idea.
Anything you want to know, you can find–and there’s great potential to teach and train yourself on the internet. Does that mean you’ll never need an expert ever again?
Well, not exactly. Take, for instance, your hearing aids. Let’s imagine that you develop a need for these handy little devices. Does that mean you should just drive up to the local pharmacy and pick up a pair of over-the-counter hearing aids? It sounds nice and easy (and gives you the illusion of self-sufficiency), but there are some significant drawbacks. In fact, going to see a hearing specialist for hearing aids can help make your hearing aids more effective–and more comfortable.
What are the symptoms of hearing loss?
The symptoms of hearing loss might seem straightforward–even obvious. Things get harder to hear, right? Well, yes–but the presentations of hearing loss can be much more variable–and much less obvious. Indeed, people often miss the signs of hearing loss because they don’t know what to look for.
Some of the most common symptoms of hearing loss include the following:
- The constant need to turn the volume up: Are you consistently turning up the volume on your television? Well, that’s a sign of hearing loss. (This is one of the more obvious ones, but it tends to develop so slowly that it’s often missed.)
- Difficulty hearing conversations in noisy places: Do you have a hard time following conversations when you go out to dinner with friends or family? This is usually a pretty reliable indication that some degree of hearing loss may be occurring.
- Headaches and fatigue: Often, when you have hearing loss, your brain struggles to keep up. It’s having to work extra hard to process information–it’s like squinting all the time, but with your ears. This can lead to chronic headaches and fatigue.
- Asking people to repeat themselves: You might often ask people to repeat themselves. This is a sign of hearing loss, even if it feels as though the volume is not the problem. (If you start to encounter a great many people who “mumble,” it might be your ears that are the problem.)
Of course, these symptoms are not necessarily the only symptoms of hearing loss. Everyone’s experience will be somewhat different. But if you are noticing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to visit your hearing specialist to get a diagnosis.
Why is a diagnosis helpful?
So, you have the symptoms of hearing loss. Why not just go to the store and purchase an over-the-counter hearing aid? Well, that would be kind of like buying some corrective glasses without knowing your prescription. It might work sometimes. But knowing more about your condition is absolutely essential.
That’s because hearing loss is a complex condition. It’s not as though someone just turns the volume knob in your ear. Instead, as stereocilia in your ear become damaged, you tend to lose your hearing parts at a time–that is, you usually lose the ability to hear high frequency or low frequency sounds first.
And most people don’t even notice it. The brain is really good at compensating for these things. That’s why a hearing exam is often necessary. This screening process can help you uncover hearing loss you may not even realize you have. You’ll also have the chance to accurately diagnose which frequencies tend to be fading the fastest (and be better able to manage your symptoms as a result.)
Advantages of working with a hearing specialist
When you go buy a hearing aid off the shelf, you’ll be doing your best to match what’s available on the shelf with what you need.
But when you visit a hearing specialist, your hearing aids can be tailored to your needs. Your hearing specialist can help you select the best device for your symptoms and then tailor that device specifically for the wavelengths you need help with.
Your hearing specialist will also have the following advantages:
- The ability to help you customize the overall fit of your hearing aid, ensuring your devices are comfortable and work properly.
- Your hearing specialist can help you plan the necessary maintenance for your hearing aid, ensuring that your devices last for as long as possible.
- When you have trouble using or understanding how to use your hearing aid, your hearing specialist can help walk you through the process and make sure you understand how to get the most out of your devices.
- Your hearing specialist can also help you understand how to adjust to your hearing aid successfully. This is critical to a good experience with your devices.
Without the benefit of a hearing specialist, your hearing aid experience will likely be less optimal–even if you do happen to select the best possible over-the-counter hearing aid for your symptoms.
Additionally, hearing specialists will be able to help you manage your hearing loss symptoms. With the right approach, you’ll be much less likely to lose friends or become distant with family on account of your hearing loss symptoms. You’ll be able to keep those connections. And that can be exceptionally important. That’s definitely worth typing “hearing specialist near me” into your search engine.
Not everything has to be DIY
Getting help with your hearing aid doesn’t mean you are somehow less self-sufficient. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The right hearing aid can increase your independence and self-sufficiency.
A hearing specialist can help you diagnose your hearing loss, manage your symptoms, and select the right device for your needs.
In other words, if you think you have hearing loss, it’s time to find a provider near you!