According to the most recent studies, 48 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss. Believe it or not, many of them don’t even realize they have a problem. You might think it would be obvious if you needed a hearing aid, but plenty of people with hearing loss in Los Angeles are completely unaware of the problem. Because early intervention is so important in preventing further problems, recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss and then following up with an audiologist is key.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Other than a few instances in which hearing loss occurs suddenly – say, exposure to a loud gunshot – the condition develops gradually, making it difficult to detect at first. High frequency sounds are the first to be affected; your brain learns to adapt to hearing damage in this range by diverting resources to compensate for this loss. While you may not notice the problem, it isn’t going away and will only worsen in time. The sooner you can detect hearing loss, the better your odds of treating it.
If you’re like many people with hearing loss in Los Angeles, you may notice some (or all) of the following:
- People appear to mumble when they speak.
- You find yourself asking others to repeat themselves.
- You notice a ringing in your ears.
- Family members complain that you are watching TV or listening to music too loudly.
- You miss hearing everyday household sounds (e.g., ringing doorbell).
- You have trouble following conversations in large groups.
- You have difficulty hearing in environments with background noise.
- You have trouble hearing the speaker unless you are facing him/her.
- You miss key words in conversations.
- Telephone conversations are difficult to follow.
- Friends and coworkers accuse you of speaking too loudly.
If you are experiencing one or more of these signs on a regular basis, you may need hearing aids!
Are Hearing Aids the Right Solution?
There are different types of hearing loss, and naturally, that means different treatment solutions. Conductive hearing loss, in which there is damage to the outer or middle ear, is often correctable with surgery or medications. Sensorineural hearing loss, also known as nerve deafness, is the result of damage to the inner ear. This condition is permanent and usually treated with hearing aids. 90 percent of patients with hearing loss suffer from the latter type, which explains why hearing aids are far and away the most common solution.
Only your audiologist is truly qualified to diagnose you and determine whether you need hearing aids in Los Angeles. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms discussed above.