Hearing, but not understanding is often a symptom of mild to moderate hearing loss. Many people go through life simply “living with” hearing loss, never recognizing there are many solutions available. The first step is a complete audiological (hearing) assessment. This testing is performed by an audiologist and will identify the degree and nature of your understanding problems. A complete evaluation includes inspection of the ear canals, testing of the middle and inner ear functioning, pure tone testing and an assessment of speech recognition abilities. Cost of this testing is generally covered by Medicare and health insurance plans.
These results will be discussed fully with you and your family members. Treatment may be as simple as removing wax from the ear canals. If hearing aids, listening therapy, and/or use of assistive listening devices are recommended, the audiologist will guide you in the selection process.
Hearing aids are now quite small and practically invisible. They provide many improved features for addressing the problem of hearing but not understanding. Directional microphones, frequency specific amplification and automatic programs help to improve understanding in quiet and noisy environments. Also, many models can be paired with wireless devices to improve understanding on the telephone, while watching television and while participating in very challenging listening situations.
Assistive listening devices can make the activities of daily living more accessible. Amplified telephones, vibrating alarm clocks, alerting doorbells and wireless TV amplifiers provide additional awareness of sound. Listening therapies improve the ability to understand conversational speech in noisy environments.
Untreated hearing loss can impact your life in many ways. Withdrawal, isolation and depression are often seen in those who have hearing loss. Call an audiologist today and schedule a hearing evaluation.
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