How to Tell If You Need a Hearing Aid

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As you age, you will begin to lose your hearing, with some cases requiring a hearing aid. Find out if you require a hearing aid to hear better with help from a practicing doctor in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Ears 101
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Dr. David Hill, and today we're going to talk about how to tell if you need a hearing aid. Now, some of the symptoms that people notice of early hearing loss are that they have a tougher time making out a given voice, especially against background noise. It's a relatively easy thing to make out somebody's voice in a quiet situation, but if you find that when you're at a party or a room full of other people or in a car you're having a difficult time understanding what people are saying, it's probably time to get your hearing tested. Now, there's another subtle sign of hearing loss that a lot of people don't even know is a sign of hearing loss, and that's tinnitus. It's a persistent ringing, roaring, or rushing, usually heard in the right ear. It's not that there's anything really going on in that ear. That's really a function of your brain trying to compensate for sound that it would like to have there and isn't, so if you've noticed that you have that ringing and it just doesn't go away, it's probably time to get a hearing test. An audiologist can do a hearing test that assesses how well you're hearing at different frequencies. The most common form of hearing loss is high frequency hearing loss, and it's often hard to perceive that without discreet testing. The good news is that once the audiologist knows what levels you're hearing at and what levels you're not hearing at, they can help you design a hearing aid that compensates just in the ranges where you actually have hearing loss. So, if you suspect that you're not hearing things as well as you used to, that you're having a tough time making out conversation in a crowded or noisy area, or you notice that sort of ringing, that tinnitus, that won't go away, go ahead and talk to your doctor about getting referred to an audiologist or an ear, nose and throat specialist, so that you can have a complete hearing evaluation and figure out if there's some part of life that you're missing that you don't have to be. Talking about how to know when you need a hearing aid, I'm Dr. David Hill.

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