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 How Can I Tell

The human ear is nothing less than amazing. It is one of the body’s most delicate and detailed sensory organs. Nevertheless it is no surprise that such a complex system can be damaged by illnesses, injury and standard daily wear and tear.

Just as we get our eyes and teeth checked regularly, taking good care of our hearing is just as important. Statistics show that approximately 35% of people over the age of 64 have significant hearing loss. Often family members and friends are aware of a person’s hearing problems long before the hearing-impaired person becomes aware of it him/her-self. In some cases hearing loss can be gradual and may go unnoticed until it becomes very pronounced. When this becomes the case, it can result in frustration, withdrawal from social activities, depression, isolation and loneliness. One might gradually lose the ability to take in the sounds they have once known and loved - bird chirping, rustling of leaves, music, and the voices of loved ones.

How can I tell if I have hearing loss?

The obvious warning signs are:

  • Having to ask people to repeat themselves. People just seem to mumble
  • Having difficulty following conversation
  • Feelings of ear fullness or pressure, ear noises (ringing, buzzing), and dizziness
  • Having to turn up the TV volume to new levels which may be annoying to others
  • Having problems understanding speech when there is background noise present

What should I do?

See a hearing professional. Book an appointment for a free screening and get to the root of the problem. Discuss the following with your Hearing Care Professional:

  • When did your hearing problem begin and how quickly did it progress?
  • Whether there are any obvious related problems (illness, wax build up, head injury, noise exposure, etc.)
  • Do other family members have hearing loss?

A hearing professional will measure your hearing across a detailed range of sound frequencies at different noise levels. Once your hearing has been assessed, your hearing care professional will discuss the various options available to you. Early diagnosis is crucial to a better quality of life.

What if I need a hearing aid?

Most people have pre-conceived notions about hearing aids. To this we say – "It's no longer your grandfather's hearing aid". Common notions we've heard are:

  • Hearing aids are "only for old people"
  • "I don't have a hearing loss – People just mumble", or "People should talk clearer"
  • Hearing aids are "too noticeable"
  • Social acceptance, vanity and / or embarrassment will often prevent people from wearing hearing aids

The real shame is missing out on the sounds of life. The truth is that hearing loss is far more noticeable than hearing aids are. Modern technology has allowed the hearing aid sound quality to be tailored to meet a specific hearing loss type. In size they are small enough to be barely noticeable, yet powerful enough to make a huge difference to your lifestyle. Hearing aids that are completely invisible when worn in the ear canal are also available though, they are not for everyone.

Can hearing aids be almost invisible?

Yes. In the past hearing aids were clearly visible and unattractive. Today, newer models are definitely more hi-tech and even quite chic, offering Bluetooth technology and music streaming. They range in size and color and can be molded from the shape of your inner ear to be very cosmetically discreet. New models are custom fitted to reside in your ear canal's 'second bend', making them invisible when worn. These again may not be right for all candidates. You can discuss all of these options with your hearing care professional.


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