It is estimated that hearing loss affects approximately 466 million people or 6.1% worldwide. It is especially prominent for an older generation due to the natural breakdown of the cell’s inner ear over a lifetime. In fact, it is projected that one in three people over 65 have hearing loss but by the time this demographic reaches 75, the chance of hearing loss is estimated to be one in two. Even so, hearing loss does not only affect seniors. More and more people of a younger generation are affected by hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices, such as the use of headphones at a loud volume.
Treating Hearing Loss
It is important to understand that while most hearing loss is irreversible it can be effectively treated using hearing aids. Even if you are careful and protect your ears as much as possible there are many circumstances that may put your ears at risk and are out of your control. It’s important to not be too hard on yourself and move forward with treatment.
Knowing the Signs
Using hearing aids to treat your impairment will allow you to hear the people in your life, keep your brain sharp and feel connected, but the first step is identifying the problem. This can be difficult, as hearing loss often develops slowly. It can develop so subtly that many don’t realize what sounds they have lost the ability to hear until they struggle to hear, even in the most ideal of situations. Even then, it is often a person close to you who may suggest that you have a hearing loss and by then many of the dangerous side effects have already progressed. The sooner you treat your hearing loss the sooner you can address some of the side effects such as rifts in relationships due to communication issues, chronic depression, cognitive decline, and a higher risk of falls.
The first step is knowing how to identify hearing loss:
You ask people to repeat themselves
This may be one of the most common signs of hearing loss. If you find that you have to ask people to repeat themselves more often than not, then it may point to a hearing loss that needs to be addressed.
Struggling to hear in a crowded environment
It can be difficult for anyone to hear in a noisy place but if you are finding that it is difficult for you to follow conversation amidst noise, then it may point to a larger hearing issue. Fortunately, modern hearing aids can pinpoint sound coming in front of you so you can hear a person speaking to you while minimizing background noise.
People sound like they are mumbling
All too often people with hearing loss believe it is other people’s fault. Certain tones or pitches may be out of your range when your hearing loss is untreated. This makes certain voices specifically hard to hear. It may be easier to act like it is other people’s fault but testing your hearing can put an end to this debate.
Trouble on the phone
The phone can be difficult to hear over, when you have hearing loss because it does not allow you to rely on visual cues. You may have come to rely on lip reading, facial expression and body language without realizing it. If you find that your phone volume is turned all the way up and you still can’t hear. It could be an issue with the phone but it is a safe idea to have your hearing tested.
Conflict over the volume
Do you find that you are fighting with the people in your life over the volume of the TV or stereo? It might just sound fine to you, but if other people comment or complain about the loud volume, this is a major clue that there is an issue with your hearing.
Seeking Treatment for Hearing Loss
Do you find that you struggle to feel part of social situations, or catch yourself dreading them because of hearing issues? Do you ever catch yourself pretending to hear or bluffing during conversation and it is causing you stress? It’s time to act. The first step is scheduling a hearing test and finding out the extent of your hearing loss. Call today and set up your appointment and get in control of your life again.