Difficulties with Communication Could Signal a Hearing Loss | Los Gatos Audiology
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Hearing Aids Tailored To Your Life!

408-708-2158

Over 10,000 lives transformed
since 1996 in Silicon Valley

los gatos audiology header

Hearing Aids Tailored To Your Life!

408-708-2158

Over 10,000 lives transformed
since 1996 in Silicon Valley

los gatos audiology logo header

Hearing Aids Tailored To Your Life!

408-708-2158

Over 10,000 lives transformed
since 1996 in Silicon Valley

Do you have a hard time keeping up with a conversation you’re having in a restaurant? Or do you find yourself saying “huh” or “what” in response to what others are saying? These are common signs of hearing loss, a chronic medical condition that reduces one’s ability to hear and process speech as well as sound. Over 48 million people live with some degree of hearing loss, and though it is pervasive, hearing loss is often undertreated. It takes an average of 7 years for people to address their hearing loss symptoms. This delay in treatment can worsen symptoms and impairment which can take a toll on daily life. Addressing hearing loss as soona s you recognize symptoms can significantly support your overall health and wellness. 

 

Communication Difficulties an Early Sign of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss reduces a person’s ability to perceive and process sound. It often occurs as a result of damaged hair cells in the inner ear. These sensory cells play a critical role in how we absorb and understand sound. They send auditory input to the brain which is then able to further process and assign meaning to sound signals. Hearing loss prevents this from happening, producing various symptoms including the following: 

  • Tinnitus, commonly referred to as “ringing ears”, is a buzzing or ringing like noise in one or both ears. 
  • Sounds are slurred or muffled. 
  • Missing words or parts of a conversation. 
  • Difficulty identifying individual words, lip reading to help distinguish words. 
  • Frequently asking others to repeat themselves or speak louder. 
  • Pretending to hear to get through a conversation. 
  • Having a hard time hearing especially in environments with background noise (restaurants, bars, parties etc.). 
  • Avoiding conversations as much as possible. 

These symptoms can be experienced mildly to profoundly depending on the degree of hearing loss present. Hearing loss typically occurs gradually so symptoms can go unnoticed for quite some time. It is important to pay attention to your hearing health and be as productive as possible by having your hearing tested regularly. 

 

What You Can Expect From Treatment 

The first step to address hearing loss is to have your hearing evaluated. Hearing tests involve a noninvasive and painless process that measures hearing capacities in each ear. This process typically involves: 

  • Pure tone audiometry: this is one of the most common tests used to assess hearing ability. It involves wearing headphones connected to a machine that plays sounds at different frequencies. Guided by a hearing healthcare specialist, you will indicate what you can hear. 
  • Results: your results will be captured in real time and presented to you after your test on an audiogram. This is a chart that shows you the softest sound each ear can hear at different pitches and frequencies. These results reveal the degree of impairment you are experiencing and the types of sounds that are more challenging for you to hear. 

Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider is able to recommend treatment options that can best meet those needs. The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids – electronic devices that provide significant support with absorbing and processing sound. 


Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss

Treating hearing loss offers countless benefits that strengthen health and enhance quality of life. Hearing aids: 

  • Strengthen communication: hearing aids alleviate symptoms and increase capacity to hear and process sound. This equips people with ample support, making it easier to engage in conversations. People are better able to be more present and participate with greater ease. This strengthens communication and interactions with others. 
  • Improve relationships: strengthened communication improves relationships in numerous ways. People with hearing loss can spend quality time with loved ones without the disruption and barriers of symptoms. This allows people to have meaningful conversations and engage in activities like watching TV or a movie smoothly. This supports closeness and intimacy which improves relationships. 
  • Enrich social life: hearing aids are especially useful in environments with background noise like social settings. Hearing aids allow people to navigate conversations with multiple people, active settings, and spaces that are noisier with much more hearing support. This enriches social engagement. 

Treating hearing loss can transform your hearing health and daily life. Contact us today to learn more about treatment and to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation.