Taking the First Step

Hearing loss is common

Nearly 40 million Americans have hearing loss and this number is expected to rapidly climb over the next decade.  It can happen gradually, making it difficult to self-diagnose. If hearing loss is affecting life, family, work or everyday interactions for you or someone you care for, explore below for more information.

Hearing loss symptoms and signs

Whether you have noise-induced hearing loss, progressive hearing loss from aging, or some other type of hearing loss that occurs over time, the symptoms largely look the same. If you're experiencing one or more of these hearing loss symptoms, it may be time for a hearing test. 

  • Muffling of speech and other sounds
  • Trouble hearing certain consonants
  • Frequently asking others to repeat, speak up or speak more slowly
  • Exhaustion or headaches from straining to hear
  • Difficulty understanding words, especially in crowded settings or against background noise
  • Difficulty hearing women, children, or high-pitched sounds
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

If several of these early signs and symptoms of hearing loss sound familiar, you may have hearing loss. It’s okay—you’re not alone. The first step you should take is to have your hearing checked by a hearing care provider. They'll help determine the degree of hearing loss if any, and whether hearing aids could help.

Why should I treat my hearing loss?

The longer you wait to treat hearing loss, the more difficult treatment can become. You’ve probably heard the saying “use it or lose it.” This concept applies to hearing as much as any other ability. Just as we exercise our muscles, it’s crucial to “exercise” our hearing to keep our brains functioning properly because technically, "hearing" occurs in our brains.

Wearing hearing aids help exercise the brain’s hearing centers, maintaining its ability to detect and distinguish sounds. Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, the brain may need time to relearn the sounds it has been missing—and that’s where hearing aids become especially beneficial. The sooner you start to wear them, the easier it will be to retrain your hearing.

Don't wait to treat your hearing loss! Schedule an appointment
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What to expect at your first appointment

A hearing test can provide you with a lot of valuable information about the status of your hearing health. Your first appointment may include: a complete health and hearing history, ear canal inspection, hearing threshold test, and a speech discrimination test.

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