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OKAY, I HAVE HEARING PROBLEMS
BUT IS IT TIME TO GET HEARING AIDS?
I am an audiologist in my mid 60's and have high frequency hearing loss in both ears. However, I am not yet a hearing aid candidate. I know this because I have been testing hearing aids for years and know that my loss is not bad enough to gain noticeable improvement with hearing aids. Experience shows that just because someone shows hearing loss, they are not necessarily an immediate candidate for hearing aids. This is why it is so important to see a qualified and honest professional for your hearing care. They will tell you if you need hearing aids and just as importantly, if you are not quite yet a candidate, they will tell you to wait.
So when IS it time?
This is my rule* or guideline for determining when it's time to get hearing aids
My operative definition of "communicatively significant hearing loss" (i.e., when hearing aid augmentation is most likely noticeable and beneficial) is when the averaged hearing loss is greater than 35dB in the better ear.
If you have received a hearing test, find out what your "averaged hearing levels" are in in both ears.
If your averaged hearing loss equals.....
0-25dB: There is little or no hearing disability (even if there is high frequency loss). There are a few exceptions to this rule
25-35dB: Borderline disability. There may be noticeable hearing problems, but hearing aids often do not provide enough benefit to be worth it (there are definitely exceptions to this rule)
35dB+: It's time...to discuss getting help for your hearing loss meaning ...your hearing loss is communicatively significant to you and others and hearing aids will usually make a noticeable and beneficial improvement to your hearing and your communication with other people.
*This rule has been pretty much correct in my practice.