Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a reduced ability to hear sound. This makes it more challenging to hear TV, people talking on the phone, women’s or children's voices as well as people in restaurants. Hearing loss may affect people at any age, however those between 65 and 74 are a third more likely than younger folks to be affected. Nearly half of people over 75 experience enough hearing loss to need amplification.
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Signs of Hearing Loss

The common early signs of hearing loss include:
  • Finding it difficult to hear or understand what others are saying and, often asking it to be repeated.

  • Getting mentally and physically exhausted after a day or work, or an outing with friends.

  • Having to turn the TV up louder than others to understand dialogue.

  • Trouble understanding people on the phone or from another room.

  • Having to concentrate hard to understand others in noisy environments.

  • Feeling like hearing is okay, but others are mumbling.

Hearing Loss Causes

Inner ear damage, typically from noise exposure and aging, may cause sensorineural hearing loss. This is usually not treatable medically or surgically, so the damage is permanent.
the most frequent causes of hearing loss

Effects of Hearing Loss

Hearing changes very slowly for most individuals and the early signs often go unnoticed. Others may be able to gauge an individual's change of hearing better than the individual themselves. 

It can be a surprisingly emotional experience to discover changes in hearing and can make people more reluctant to inform others of their condition, regardless of the social consequences. This reluctance may make a person feel lonely and isolated. The reality is, however, that hearing loss is a very common condition and an individual’s hearing loss experience can be improved immeasurably once others are aware of their condition. 

It’s suggested to have a baseline hearing test after age 50, just as we recommend other routine tests at this age (vision tests, colonoscopies, mammograms, prostate exams, etc.) There is undeniable evidence that ignoring hearing loss affects communication skills, which can lead to a whole host of potential psychological and physical conditions in the long-term.

Treating Hearing Loss

The standard treatment for mild to severe hearing loss is the use of hearing aids. These come in multiple styles and sizes to offer improvement with many aspects of life: hearing on the phone, understanding others in social situations, and listening to TV and music at softer levels.   

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