Hearing loss can happen for a variety of reasons. Typically, hearing loss is caused by general aging and exposure to loud sounds throughout your lifetime. Hearing loss due to age occurs gradually at different rates and affects each person differently, while hearing loss due to exposure to noise may come on suddenly and unexpectedly.\nDo You Have Hearing Loss?\nSimilar to other medical conditions, the sooner you address your hearing issues, the better treatment outcome you will have.\u00a0The following are common signs that you may have hearing loss and would benefit from a hearing aid.\n\nYou have trouble following conversations\nHave trouble hearing in a noisy environment\nAvoid being the first person to start a conversation\nPrefer having the television or radio louder than other people\nComplain that people are mumbling\nMisunderstand what people say\nFrequently ask people to repeat what they have said\nHave trouble understanding people when you cannot see their faces\n\nHow Can a Hearing Aid Help?\nHearing aids amplify sounds louder so that you can hear them. They will pick up soft sounds, make normal conversation comfortable, and reduce noises that are too loud. Hearing aids can be adapted to work with an individual’s personal degree of hearing loss and lifestyle needs. They have a number of pre-set programs that can be used in different situations, such as quiet conversations, concerts, or at parties where there is a great deal of background noise.\nToday\u2019s hearing aids can distinguish between sounds that need to be amplified and unwanted noise that needs to be reduced. This differentiation allows wearers to distinguish similar sounding speech sounds much more clearly.\n\u00bb\u00a0 For more information regarding your options for hearing aids, contact the Center for Audiology at UPMC.