If you’re not sure you’re experiencing hearing loss, know that you are not alone. Nearly 35 million Americans suffer from hearing loss but since it happens gradually, most people don’t recognize the signs for quite some time and need to have it pointed out to them by a friend or family member.
The Importance of Early Diagnosis
Family members are often the first to recognize that a loved one has hearing loss. The symptoms appear gradually and are difficult to detect. Even professional caregivers can confuse the signs and symptoms of hearing loss with other conditions. Missing opportunities for early diagnosis can increase the long-term impact of hearing problems.
Some clues: Have people told you that your TV or radio is too loud. Are you finding it more difficult to understand conversations, especially if several people are talking at once or if there is background noise? Are you finding that you often have to ask people to repeat themselves more than once? Perhaps you have trouble hearing over the motor and wind sounds while driving in your car.
The sooner a hearing problem is addressed, the more effectively it can be treated.
Does your family complain that you say what too often or that you listen to the TV too loudly? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself do I have hearing loss?
Never Too Young
Even though hearing loss is widely perceived as affecting predominantly older people, Better Hearing Institute says that 65% of the hearing-impaired are younger than 65. More than six million Americans between the ages of 18 and 44 already have hearing problems, and nearly one and a half million are school age. So yes, hearing loss affects all age groups.
If you find yourself asking, do I have hearing loss; here are some of the most common signs:
- Turning up the volume of the television or radio
- Problems hearing the doorbell or the telephone ringing
- Difficulty hearing people calling from behind, or in another room
- Asking people to repeat themselves frequently
- Withdrawing from or avoiding conversations and social interactions
- Misunderstanding or “forgetting” what has been said or agreed upon
- Cupping hands behind the ears
The Dangers of Putting Off Treatment
When it comes to age-related hearing loss, it may not always be preventable. However, not waiting too long before getting tested and – in case of need – getting fitted with hearing aids sooner rather than later, is a very smart move. Just like our joints and muscles, the use-it or lose-it principle applies to our hearing. Understanding hearing loss and treatment options, such as hearing aids, can assure you don’t lose it before it is too late.
Only 1 out of 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one. Even if you are one of those people who insist they hear just fine, there’s no harm in having your hearing checked. It is helpful to establish a baseline of your hearing abilities for future reference.
Many studies highlight the dangers of living with untreated hearing loss. Findings show:
- Almost one-fourth (23%) of individuals living with hearing loss said their hearing loss is affecting their success in the workplace, while 25% said hearing loss is affecting their earning potential.
- 40% of the individuals who reported having a hearing loss said that it has affected their home life.
One of the many good reasons to get your hearing checked is: undetected and untreated hearing loss can diminish your quality of life by making it difficult to communicate and interact with people around you – be it at work or in family and social situations. Treating hearing loss as early as possible, before it starts to impact your emotional, psychological and social well being, can improve your communication and language skills, allowing you to fully participate in all the leisure and work activities.
Schedule Your Test Today with Posey Hearing Center
If you’ve recognized some of these signs of hearing loss in your hearing or a loved one’s, the best way to make things better is to acknowledge the problem and see a hearing specialist for a hearing test. At Posey Hearing Center, we offer comprehensive hearing health services, from tests to hearing aid fittings. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.