Most hearing loss happens gradually over the course of months or even years, according to the Center for Disease Control. This can make it difficult to tell on your own whether you need a hearing aid or whether the people around you are just speaking indistinctly--especially if you live by yourself. If you are trying to determine whether or not you need to be fitted for widex hearing aids, an appointment with a specialist is the best way to go. If you are not sure if you need an appointment, consider the following signs.
1. You can hear people talking, but it's difficult to understand them. One of the most common types of hearing loss, according to Cleveland Clinic, is being able to hear everything except for very high pitches. This can distort the sound of normal speech and make it difficult to hear letters like "f," "s" and "th." Women and children are particularly hard for someone with this type of hearing loss to understand because women and children tend to speak in higher registers.
2. You have difficulty hearing people in another room. Of course, too much distance makes it difficult for even a person with normal hearing to understand what a person is saying. However, you should be able to hear a person speaking in the next room without straining.
3. You are altering your social life. If you find yourself avoiding group functions, talking on the telephone, or even being the one to start a conversation, you may be doing this semi-consciously because it's difficult to hear in such settings.
4. Your family complains that the television or sound system is too loud. You may be compensating for your hearing loss by gradually turning the volume up on your electronic devices. If your family and friends visit you and complain about how loud the sound or music is, it is likely time to make an appointment for a hearing test. You can do your own sound test at home by looking at your tv's or music player's guide to see where the 85 decibel mark is (the highest volume level before hearing damage starts). Set the volume to a little lower than that. If you are straining to hear your tv or music, you may have some hearing damage.
Hearing loss can sneak up on you. And, you don't have to be on retirement age to need a hearing aid. Exposure to loud music, viruses, head trauma, factory noise, and even prolonged traffic sounds can all contribute to hearing loss at any age. If you are having trouble understanding what people are saying, finding yourself avoiding large gatherings, and are getting complaints from those around you about the volume on your television, these could be signs that you need a hearing aid.