Realizing you do not hear as well as you once did is often very troubling. Hearing loss can occur so slowly over a long period of time that we do not always feel it happening. You may start to notice that you have to ask people to repeat themselves several times or that you often misunderstood what someone says. Maybe you always shut the television volume at eight and now you need it at twelve in order to hear your favorite show.

Hearing loss happens to thousands of people each year for a wide variety of reasons. There is no shame in experiencing hearing loss or in need to wear hearing aids. The days of large, embarrassing and uncomfortable hearing aids are long gone. Modern hearing devices feature advanced technological features and are so small and discrete that no one even has to know you're wearing them.

The first step you need to take if you suspect hearing loss is to make an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing test. Your primary care physician or insurance provider can give you a list of hearing specialists in your area. The test and exam are quick, easy and painless. If hearing loss is confirmed, a treatment plan will be devised. This means a recommendation of hearing aids for most people.

The hearing aid provider will help you pick the right device for your unique situation and needs. There are dozens of hearing device brands on the market and each brand has a long list of models. You may want a unit that is invisible, wireless, digital or water-resistant. The provider will go over the advantages and challenges associated with each model and help you find the unit you are most comfortable with.

They will then go over the operation, care and maintenance of your new hearing aids with you. Hearing aids are electronic devices, so it is important that you understand how to make them work to your full advantage and care for them in a way that will extend their life and bring the highest level of performance.

You'll need to pick up a few supplies and accessories for your hearing device. Your hearing provider will likely have them available for purchase at the office. They are also available at most drugstores and major retail chains.

A case to keep hearing aids in when they are not in use will keep them safe. Extra batteries are important to keep on hand. Cleaning kits are available with all the supplies needed to keep hearing aids clean and sanitary. Ear lotion is often recommended to prevent dryness and irritation.