If you’ve been having trouble understanding your friends and family or noticed that others are mumbling more than they used to, it might be time to schedule a visit with an audiologist.
While getting hearing aids can initially seem daunting, these professionals will help you find the best solution. And once you’re wearing them? The change in the quality of life is enough motivation to make sure you don’t lose your hearing for good! So, here are a few tips that your audiologist can give you to help with your hearing:
Get a hearing test.
If you are experiencing hearing problems, it may be time to get a hearing test. Hearing loss can be a symptom of several things, including age and exposure to loud noises. However, it is also possible that your hearing issues could be caused by medical conditions like Meniere’s disease or an inner ear infection.
A hearing test can help determine the cause of your hearing loss and provide a treatment plan if necessary. The test includes an interview with your audiologist, a check of the ear canal for wax buildup or other obstructions, and a series of sounds played through headphones at varying volumes—to measure how well you hear them.
Curb the noise.
In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it can be hard to hear yourself think, let alone hear someone else speak. But, if you’re having trouble hearing in loud environments and want to improve your aural understanding, you can do some simple things to help.
Encourage others around you to lower their volume. You can also wear earplugs or earmuffs when it’s particularly noisy. And if you’re at home or work and want to save the environment from excess noise, try turning off the radio or TV when they’re not in use.
Finally, if all else fails, consider talking with an audiologist about tinnitus treatment options that could help reduce the ringing in your ears.
Learn the signs of hearing loss and get regular hearing tests.
Age is the biggest risk factor for hearing loss. As you age, your ears change, making it harder to hear high-pitched sounds or words spoken softly or in background noise.
Hearing loss can be caused by genetics, too—some people are born with conditions that can make them more likely to develop hearing loss as they age.
The signs of hearing loss include difficulty following conversations, listening in noisy environments, feeling like other people have to repeat themselves often and asking them to speak more loudly or at a normal volume.
Protect your hearing aids.
If you use hearing aids, you’ll need to know about hearing aid maintenance and care. Audiologists recommend that you take steps to protect your hearing aids. For example, avoid putting them in water unless you’re cleaning them. Avoid exposing your hearing aids to extreme temperatures or leaving them in direct sunlight for extended periods. If you accidentally damage or lose a battery from one of your hearing aids, have it replaced as soon as possible at a qualified audiologist center to prevent further damage.
Ask your audiologist about assistive technology and other services.
If you wear hearing aids, you might wonder if there’s more out there that could help you hear better. The answer is yes. Assistive technology, such as hearing loops and infrared systems, can help with your hearing and communication needs in different settings. Your audiologist can explain what each of these technologies does and how they can help you.
Your audiology team can also recommend other services that may be helpful for you, such as speech-language pathology or even a hearing instrument specialist specializing in making custom-fit hearing instruments.
Audiologists are your best bet for getting the most out of your hearing aids. They can help you choose the right pair for your lifestyle, teach you how to use them properly, and even recommend other services that could improve your quality of life—such as assistive technology or hearing protection. If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids, ask!