Hearing loss is the inability to hear sound in one or both ears, either partially or entirely. Usually, hearing loss develops gradually over time, which is why it is important to be familiar with common signs of hearing loss.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), roughly 25% of people aged 65 to 74 have hearing loss.
Hearing loss is a result of aging and repeated loud noise exposure. The ability of your ears to conduct sound may momentarily be decreased by other factors, such as heavy ear wax. In most cases, hearing loss cannot be reversed. However, there are steps that can be taken to improve hearing.
When should you visit an audiologist and what are the five common signs of hearing loss?
There are scenes in movies or TV shows where the conversation may be difficult to hear which would entail you turning up the volume. However, if you find yourself needing to turn up the volume frequently, or if you notice that other people in the same room with you are not comfortable with the loudness, you may need to get your hearing tested. This could be a sign of diminished hearing.
The term “tinnitus” refers to ringing or other unsettling noises that you may hear in one or both ears. Because they are not triggered by outside stimuli, the tinnitus sounds are frequently inaudible to other people. Tinnitus is a frequent issue, around 15% to 20% of people experience it, with elderly people more prone to be affected.
Tinnitus is typically brought on by an underlying condition, such as hearing loss brought on by aging, an ear injury, or a problem with the circulatory system. When the underlying cause of tinnitus is addressed or when additional therapies are used to lessen or hide the noise, tinnitus may improve.
If you have allergies or the common cold, your hearing may become distorted or muted. This is frequently brought on by ear pressure or congestion, and it normally goes away on its own. However, if you don’t have a cold or allergies but notice that speech or sounds are muffled or distorted (as if the person speaking to you is mumbling), you should get your hearing tested.
An audiologist can examine your ears to see if there are any physical impediments that might be impairing your hearing. A blocked ear canal from impacted earwax may also cause hearing distortion
An issue that frequently affects the elderly or individuals with high-frequency hearing loss is the difficulty to hear in noisy situations. Two of the most frequent causes of difficulty hearing over background noise are problems with auditory processing and high-frequency hearing loss. The best person to identify hearing loss, including its kind and severity, is an audiologist. Get your hearing checked out so that the issue can be resolved quickly if you have trouble hearing even with very little background noise.
Social isolation is more likely to occur for those who have hearing loss. People with hearing problems usually choose to withdraw and maintain their distance rather than participate in social gatherings.
Hearing loss can lead to psychological and social problems that may have an impact on daily life, relationships, and employment.
It may be difficult to appreciate life’s simple pleasures if hearing loss is left untreated. Do not let hearing loss prevent you from living life to the fullest. Pay attention to the warning signs of hearing loss, and get your hearing checked by a licensed audiologist.
Ignoring signs of hearing loss can have significant consequences on one’s overall well-being and quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can make it difficult to engage in conversations with family, friends, and colleagues. Struggling to understand speech or needing to ask others to repeat themselves constantly can lead to frustration, feelings of being disconnected, and social isolation. Studies have also shown a strong link between cognitive decline and untreated hearing loss, including an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. By addressing hearing loss early on, you can potentially maintain mental sharpness and minimize the risk of cognitive decline.
There’s no excuse not to hear better and live better. With the right audiology care, you can connect back to life and live it to the fullest! Ontario Hearing offers comprehensive hearing tests in Rochester, NY, and nearby communities.