People tend to take their hearing for granted. Hearing loss is as common as vision loss, but most folks recognize the latter much sooner than the former. Just as you visit the eye doctor regularly for check-ups, make regular appointments with an audiologist for hearing evaluations.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss usually starts subtly, and not everyone recognizes the early signs. These include:
- Turning the volume up on the TV, radio and other devices to hear them
- Often asking people to repeat themselves
- Having problems distinguishing particular words
- Difficulties hearing on the telephone
- Problems following a conversation when more than one person is speaking.
Not Just the Elderly
Hearing loss doesn’t just affect older people, although it is more common in that age group. Even teenagers can suffer from hearing loss, especially if they spend a great deal of time listening to loud music. Approximately 20 percent of Americans have some degree of hearing loss. Anyone who spends considerable time around loud noises, such as construction workers, is especially vulnerable.
Prevent Hearing Loss
You can help prevent hearing loss by taking certain precautions. Use ear plugs whenever you know you’ll be exposed to excessive noise. That includes:
- Mowing the lawn
- Using power tools
- Attending concerts
- Potential dangers
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, you’re exposed to additional dangers, issues you never considered when your hearing was good. You may not hear someone shouting a warning, or fail to hear a motor vehicle or bicycle coming near you when out for a walk. When you can’t hear well, you become less aware of your surroundings and potential dangers, making accidents and falls more likely. Hearing loss is definitely a safety issue.
There’s also economic danger. People in the workplace with hearing loss may not receive the assignments or raises they would if their hearing were better. Managers probably don’t realize hearing is a problem – they simply see the effects of unacknowledged hearing loss, which can affect job performance.
Waiting Too Long
Many people wait far too long to seek help for hearing loss. Rather than contacting a doctor when symptoms first surface, most people wait until the hearing loss has become so severe that it interferes with daily life. Some people withdraw from social activities because they can no longer follow or participate in conversations. There’s no shame in admitting you’re having hearing difficulties. The sooner you seek help, the sooner your symptoms can be treated and your quality of life improved.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!