If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you aren’t alone. More than 40 million Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss. Hearing aids can help relieve the consequences of hearing loss and help significantly increase quality of life for those with this condition.

If you think you may need a hearing aid, your first step is to talk with a Doctor of Audiology to do further testing and explore treatment options. Types of hearing loss as well as individual needs vary widely, and because of this treatment can vary from person to person.

Here are the top things to do if you are ready to treat your hearing loss-

1. Choose your hearing care professional wisely. Not all professionals that work with hearing aids are the same. In fact, dispensers in the state of Washington only have to have a high school diploma and little formal training to fit hearing aids. Doctors of Audiology have the highest possible training about all aspects of hearing loss, rehabilitation, and hearing technology. Start with someone dedicated to helping you with your hearing journey, not just someone interested in selling a hearing aid.

2. Get comprehensive testing to determine your hearing loss and needs- This testing should include a case history questioning all aspects of your hearing needs present and past, other symptoms involving your ears, and any medical conditions that might affect hearing and hearing technology needs. 

3. Selecting the right technology is a TEAM approach which is UNIQUE to each patient- There is no “one size fits all” solution to selecting the right hearing aid as there are a variety of different manufactures, styles, and functions available in today’s hearing aids. Because of all the different options, consulting with a Doctor of Audiology will help you choose the right hearing aid to fit your needs. Again, what is best for your neighbor might not be right for you. A personalized consultation about YOUR listening needs, not the latest hearing fad, is imperative to your hearing success
4. Follow-up Care- This is just as important as selecting the right professional and technology to maximize your investment in better hearing. Make sure you select a company that is established and believes in care AFTER the hearing aid is fit. Hearing aids need to be cleaned every four to six months to minimize costly future repairs and extend their lifespan. Additionally your hearing should be checked every few years to make sure the hearing aids are adjusted to meet your needs, not just when they are fit, but for the life of the device. Some clinics include these services (and other things such as warranties, batteries and supplies) at no additional costs which makes sure that your investment in better hearing will last for the long run.

There are a lot of beautiful sounds in the world, don’t let your hearing loss cause you to miss any more of them. Better living through better hearing is possible if you combine the best professionals, technology, and services. There is no better time to experience better hearing so be sure to start monitoring your hearing levels annually to make sure your ears are working the best they can. We check our teeth and eyes annually; it’s time to start adding our ears to our yearly wellness checklist!