Kentucky Academy of Audiology

Signs of Hearing Loss

The following questions may help you to detect a hearing loss.

  • Does it sound like people are mumbling or speaking too softly?
  • Do people complain that the TV or radio is too loud?
  • Do you have difficulty hearing in background noise?
  • Do you have difficulty hearing in restaurants or crowded bars?
  • Do you find that you need to ask people to repeat themselves?
  • Do you find that you are saying "what" more often?
  • Do you have trouble hearing on a telephone?
  • Has a family member or friend remarked that you are missing parts of conversations?
  • Do you feel that you need to concentrate when someone speaks quietly?
  • Do you have trouble understanding rapid speech or unexpected conversation?
  • Do you find that you are not going out because it is getting just too difficult to understand what people are saying?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you may be having difficulty hearing. Please refer to our"KAA Audiologist" section to schedule a complete hearing evaluation.
Where can I find additional help and support?

Why are hearing aids expensive?
According to the American Academy of Audiology, these are some of the reasons hearing aids cost so much:

  • They are sold in relatively low volume (i.e. approximately 1.7 million hearing aids for some 30 million hearing impaired are sold per year, as compared to several million stereos).
  • The amount of time and money spent by manufacturers on research and development is considerable. One manufacturer claims to have spent over twenty million dollars developing a single model.
  • The amount of time spent by an audiologist with a patient is very significant. Data indicate that an average of five direct contact hours is spent during the first year a patient receives hearing aids. This time is critical for new users, particularly to assist during the acclimatization process.

Mail order or budget clubs can afford to sell hearing aids at lower prices because the electronic components often are inexpensive and the hearing aids themselves are often placed on the user with minimal (or in the case of mail order) no instructions or fine tuning adjustments. Furthermore, the patient may be charged for every return visit, including minor tubing changes and adjustments. Thus, in the long run the patient is likely to pay as much or even more. Additionally, the minimum amount of training required for a dispensing audiologist is a Masters Degree, while mail order or discount centers are often staffed by sales people having minimal technical training. Audiologists, like consumers, are concerned with keeping the cost of hearing aids affordable. The reality is, communication is one of the most important skills humans have. So, if wearing hearing aids allows you to resume normal activities and communicate with loved ones, the cost becomes much more justifiable./p>