Are Hearing Aids Useful for Slight Loss of Hearing?
Have you noticed changes to your hearing? It is possible that you are suffering from slight hearing loss. It’s worth being aware of the potential issue with this type of damage and the steps you can take to prevent it from getting worse. You also need to think about when you should visit an audiologist and whether hearing aids could be the right choice for you.
What is mild hearing loss?
Audiologists define mild hearing loss by certain thresholds that will be highlighted on an audiogram after completing a hearing test. Anything between 26-40 decibels through different pitches and frequencies will typically be identified as mild hearing loss.
It’s worth noting that hearing loss does not just mean that sounds aren’t loud enough. It’s possible sounds aren’t clear either. This can impact an individual’s ability to hear or maintain a conversation.
Mild hearing loss can mean that crucial elements of words are missed. This includes sounds such as “th” and “p.” Again, this will stifle conversation and communication. This can be worse if the environment is loud or if there is poor acoustics in a room. High levels of background noise can also cause issues here.
When do you need treatment?
There is no set answer on when you should get hearing aids if you are suffering from hearing loss. It largely depends on how much this is impacting your everyday life. That’s going to differ from person to person with some people not noticing an issue at all. This is typically referred to as a ‘perceived handicap.’ According to research, self-perception is often the main reason why individuals will pursue treatment with hearing aids.
It is possible for a perceived handicap to be quite high for an individual suffering from mild hearing loss. The cause of this is not fully understood. However, it’s possible that it is based both on lifestyle points as well as demands.
For instance, if you spend significant levels of time in public places where there is a high volume of background noise, then you are going to feel the strain of mild hearing loss. In contrast if you are less active, you might not notice this issue quite as much.
Despite this it’s fair to say that mild hearing loss will often be impacting your life more than you are willing to admit. It’s also possible that people around you have noticed changes and differences here. This could be minor changes such as turning up the volume on the TV beyond the level that other people think is acceptable or necessary.
Assessing a perceived handicap will typically require individuals to complete an honest assessment. When visiting an audiologist, this could be completed in the form of a scored questionnaire.
It’s possible that you are not quite ready for hearing aids yet. However, even if you are not at this stage, you still need to make sure that you are carefully monitoring your hearing and the progression. It is possible for issues with your hearing to grow worse overtime. This can begin to significantly impact word comprehension. That’s why regular appointments with an audiologist are often advised.
Hearing aids for slight hearing loss
The good news is that if you do opt for hearing aids, slight hearing loss provides the widest range of possibilities. For instance, you can access both in the ear and in the ear canal hearing aids. While these are not suitable for moderate or severe hearing loss, they can be beneficial for those suffering from mild hearing issues.
This is a significant benefit. One of the reasons why people are put off purchasing hearing aids is because they are often embarrassed at the thought of wearing them. With smaller, subtle designs like this, you can get the support you need without worrying about what other people think.
Regardless of the hearing aids you choose, they will provide significant benefits. As well as elevating sound and ensuring that you can hear a wider range of pitches and frequencies, hearing aids also ensure that sound is more distinct and clearer. As such, it can help avoid issues with speech and communication mentioned above.
Hearing aids have also been shown to help reduce the chances of hearing issues getting worse. Alternatively, they can help slow down the progression of a hearing disorder in some cases. They may also help reduce side issues that can be apparent due to hearing loss including depression as well as cognitive decline.
We hope this helps you understand whether hearing aids will be the right choice for your slight hearing loss. To learn more about Audiology and Hearing Aid Services, make sure you contact (912) 351-3038 for expert advice and support.