Loss of hearing is a common health problem associated with aging. It can be a terrifying moment when you first notice deterioration in your ears. Many ignore the early symptoms and carry on regardless. Others simply don’t notice the creeping symptoms. Hearing loss is typically a gradual condition, and can take place over a number of years. As such, it’s difficult to pinpoint when the hearing loss began. However, it is crucial that you take action as soon as possible. There are plenty of things you can do to slow the effects and improve your hearing.
Today we’ll look at some of the most common warning signs, and help you spot them early. Hearing loss can impact your life in so many ways. From losing that essential communication with your family to picking up local groceries. It’s a small thing that impacts our lives in a huge way. Of course, your doctor will always have the best advice. So, in addition to the advice here in this post, speak to your health professional for a second opinion.
Losing your hearing doesn’t have to mean losing your lifestyle and communication. Technology has developed at a startling rate, and modern solutions are readily available. In the second part of this article, we’ll explore some of the most common methods of dealing with hearing loss. We’ll help you find a solution that works for you, and brings back your essential skills.
Difficulty in social situations
The first place you’ll notice a perceived loss of hearing is during social situations. Among a group of people, you’ll suddenly find it difficult to separate voices. The sounds will all feel overwhelming, and you’ll have trouble picking out the words in conversation. In many cases, the noises will merge into a cloudy mess of background noise and talking. These situations are often very stressful for those with hearing difficulty. Your brain will overload while trying to separate the voices and identify the main speaker. If you’ve noticed symptoms like this in your social circle, speak to a doctor.
Turning the TV or radio up
It’s often tricky to realise you’re doing this. Especially if you live alone. But, from now on, make a mental note of how loud you typically set the TV and radio. If you find yourself constantly turning it up, you may a hearing problem. Try asking a friend or relative next time they’re in your house. Put the TV on and ask if the volume seems unnecessarily loud. If they think so, it could be an early warning sign. You may also notice that the sounds of the TV and radio are more muffled. One of the key symptoms of hearing loss is the inability to separate sounds from each other.
Take a hearing test
There are plenty of free hearing tests available online. They’ll use your computer’s speakers to ask you a series of questions. It will involve lots of different sounds, and it will test your ability to respond to them. Of course, you can also consult your doctor who will conduct a more prudent medical exam.
Signs of tinnitus
Tinnitus is a very specific form of hearing loss. It often occurs after long periods of exposed loud noise. It is common in those who have worked for years in loud environments. Sound engineers, construction workers, and miners are often at risk, for example. The major warning sign of tinnitus is a droning sound inside the ear. It’s often a buzzing or humming sound. You may also feel some irritation and experience dizzy spells. Again, if you think this is an active symptom, speak to your doctor.
Hearing aid – The most common response to hearing loss is the adoption of a hearing aid. Nowadays, these hearing aids are very discreet. They fit snuggly around the ear, and use a receiver to amplify sound inside the ear canal. Most hearing aids are styled in a ‘behind-the-ear’ design. They are the strongest hearing aids, and suitable for those with severe symptoms. For those with early signs and mild symptoms, an ‘in-ear’ style or ‘canal aids’ are more appropriate.
Cochlear implants – This implant is placed inside the ear itself. It is typically recommended to those with severe hearing loss, but they are effective at all levels. In many cases, these devices will connect wirelessly to your home devices too. That way, they project the sound straight into your ear. It’s a more drastic approach to hearing loss, but it is the most discreet, and best long-term answer.
Of course, you can also take the first steps to learning lip-reading techniques. That will give you your freedom back in social situations. We understand that the first steps of hearing loss are often terrifying. If you relate to the symptoms here, seek professional advice.