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A Hearing Aid Could Save Your Life

ODHHS Information and Technical Assistance Series
A Hearing Aid Could Save Your Life
(Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, ASHA)
Are you having trouble hearing dinner conversation or your favorite TV show? Do you find yourself asking people to repeat what they've said or to speak up? If you have these symptoms often, you may have a hearing loss.
Fortunately, a hearing problem doesn't mean you have to miss out on life. If you are like millions of people, you may need a hearing aid. When properly fitted, a hearing aid can help you hear what you've been missing -- whether it's quiet conversation, a good joke, or the latest movie blockbuster.
But, how do you buy a hearing aid? Where do you start? First, you should have a hearing evaluation by an audiologist who holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association. If test results reveal that your hearing be helped with a hearing aid, the audiologist will perform more tests to determine type and model of aid for you.
All hearing aids work similarly and have the same basic parts; but, they do not all look the same. There are five basic styles of hearing aids, but more than three-quarters of hearing aids sold today are canal or all-in-the-ear models that are very small and not easily seen.
The type of hearing aid for you will depend on your hearing loss as well as practical needs such as the ease of putting the hearing aid on, changing the battery, and adjusting the volume control.
If you are fitted for a hearing aid, be prepared to hear some sounds you have never heard before, or at least haven't heard in a long time. You may also notice that some speech sounds sound different than the way you think they should.
Remember: Keep your expectations realistic. It will take time to adjust to a hearing aid. But, by working with your audiologist, you can learn to maximize the benefits of a hearing aid and once again enjoy listening to your favorite TV program and contributing to the latest discussion at the dinner table.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional and scientific society that represents 81,427 audiologists; speech-language pathologists; and speech, language and hearing scientists. ASHA's mission is to promote the interest of its members, to provide them with the highest quality services, and to advocate for people with communication disabilities. ASHA's Consumer Affairs Division provides an information and referral service on a broad range of speech, language and hearing disabilities for both children and adults.