Do I Need A Hearing Aid?
Undoubtedly the best known device for hard of hearing people is a hearing aid. While hearing aids do not return hearing to normal. They do help many people hear better. The degree of improvement will depend upon each person’s hearing loss. Certain types of hearing impairment respond better to amplification than do others. It may take a new hearing aid user six months to a year to adjust completely to hearing aid use and if the individual will not persevere, he/she may never adjust satisfactorily.
Before purchasing a hearing aid, it is recommended that a person see an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist), for a medical examination. If the doctor determines that the condition is not medically correctable, the patient should see an audiologist for hearing tests and a hearing aid evaluation.
The Audiologist will determine:
- if there is a hearing loss
- the type of hearing loss
- the pattern of hearing loss
- the degree of hearing loss – (mild, moderate, or severe)
- the individuals ability to understand speech
Only after the audiologist has recommended an appropriate aid from the hundreds of makes and models available, should the person purchase a hearing aid.
No two people have exactly the same hearing loss, so the importance of selecting the correct hearing aid cannot be over emphasized. Very few people can put on a hearing aid and hear comfortably right away. Hearing aids make sound louder, which is not always useful for speech perception. The new hearing aid user must learn to use the hearing aid, which takes time, effort, and practice. Such effort is worthwhile in terms of improving communication.
Once a new hearing aid is acquired, several follow-up visits are usually required to adjust the frequencies and the mold to ensure the best possible performance and fit. Unfortunately, many first-time hearing aid users do not allow sufficient time to adjust to their use and give up using them. This is regrettable because they end up living Lives of Silence, and are isolated and lonely, which can lead to mental health and other problems. Therefore, it is extremely important that proper counselling be given on their use.