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Hearing loss is one of the most common medical conditions that people navigate today. Impacting nearly 1 in 5 people, hearing loss effects over 30 million people, making it the third most pervasive chronic health issue. Impaired hearing results in a reduced ability to hear and process sound which produces a range of symptoms that can significantly disrupt daily life. Though hearing loss is common and can take a toll on one’s health, it is often underdiagnosed.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), an estimated 29 million people could benefit from using hearing aids, the most common treatment for hearing loss. This highlights the scope of untreated hearing loss which can worsen the impairment and also contribute to the development of other conditions. Seeking treatment with a licensed hearing professional to assess your hearing is an incredibly useful way to be proactive about your hearing health!
What do Licensed Hearing Professionals Do?
Seeking treatment for hearing loss or simply having your hearing checked involves seeing a licensed hearing professional, such as a hearing instrument specialist. Hearing instrument specialists are trained to test and identify hearing loss and to provide treatment, management, and prevention tips. This expertise is critical for maintaining healthy hearing which is an important aspect of overall health and wellness.
Why See a Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist
There are numerous benefits of visiting a licensed hearing instrument specialist even if you are not experiencing hearing loss symptoms. Major reasons include:
- Expertise in Hearing and Hearing Instruments
Hearing instrument specialists have received training and certification in providing hearing testing to determine hearing abilities and to properly dispense and fit hearing aids. When you are seeking a solution for hearing loss, you want to be sure you’re seeing a licensed specialist.
- Prioritize Hearing Health
People are often aware of the importance of yearly health screenings and check-ins. This is an important way to assess health, allows for early intervention, and consistently updates people on important metrics. Hearing should be included in this kind of annual screening because of its vital role in overall health. Hearing is a major way we navigate and understand the world and when it is impaired, the strained communication created often affects various facets of life. Seeing a licensed hearing instrument specialist allows you to tend to and be proactive about your hearing health!
- Assess & Treat Hearing Loss
There are numerous symptoms associated with hearing loss including the following:
- Sounds are muffled or slurred
- Difficulty identifying words
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves, speak loudly and/or slowly
- Increasing the volume on electronic devices
- Needing to move a quieter area to have a conversation
- Struggling to hear, especially in environments with background noise
These symptoms can be experienced mildly to profoundly, making it difficult to manage personal and professional responsibilities. Strained communication impacts relationships, job performance, and everyday well-being.
The best way to alleviate these symptoms and treat hearing loss is to be assessed by a licensed hearing instrument specialist. They perform hearing tests which involve a painless and noninvasive process that measures hearing ability in both ears. This identifies any impairment and the degree of hearing loss you may be experiencing. Additionally, hearing instrument specialists can discuss the most effective treatment options that will meet your specific hearing needs.
- Hearing Aids Support & Training
The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids which are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, and process sound; significantly increasing hearing ability. Licensed hearing instrument specialists are equipped to explore hearing aid options, take an inventory of your lifestyle and preferences, and recommend the device(s) that could work best for you.
Additionally, they are able to fit your hearing aid to ensure that they are comfortable as well as walk you through the functions and settings. This support is invaluable and provides you with in depth training on an instrument that will be integrated into your daily life.