Hearing loss, especially age-related hearing loss, is very common and often goes untreated for many years. According to the Mayo Clinic, about one-third of people in the United States between the ages of 65-75 have some degree of hearing loss.
Many of these individuals should be managing their hearing loss with hearing technology, but all of them should, at the very least, be educated on their hearing loss and the potential short-term and long-term effects of living with a hearing loss.
Common First Signs
Identifying hearing loss early is the best strategy for limiting any future issues. Pay close attention to yourself and loved ones for the following signs:
- Preferring closed captioning on the television
- Using speakerphone, especially on cell phones
- Difficulty following conversations in restaurants
- When music doesn’t have the same rich sound quality it used to
- Difficulty understanding in the car
- Difficulty understanding religious services
- Difficulty understanding children or grandchildren
- Asking people to speak slowly
- Difficulty understanding people when visual cues are removed (back turned to you, face masks, etc.)
- Frequently asking for repetition
- Tension in a marriage due to miscommunications
- Nervous to enter a conversation with fear that you may say something that will be embarrassing
- Tinnitus (Ringing, buzzing, chirping, hissing, etc. in the ears)
- When the family members or loved ones make comments about your hearing loss
- When you cannot understand the lyrics in songs
- When you find yourself left out of conversations
- When you miss the punchline to the joke that everyone else understood
- When you have difficulty remembering information you heard
- Holding back from social functions because you’re worried about not hearing what you should
How Does This Happen?
Oftentimes, a hearing loss happens so gradually that it tends to creep up. We start blaming certain people, situations, or environments for our difficulties with hearing: a noisy restaurant, a grandson who doesn’t speak up, or poor sound quality on the television.
Many times, people say, “I can hear just fine.” In some cases, hearing isn’t usually the issue; it’s the inability to understand things that affect our ability to communicate effectively.
What Can Be Done?
Having your hearing checked regularly is crucial. Sometimes hearing loss can be easily managed by removing earwax or treating an ear infection. Establishing a baseline around the age of 50 and performing annual hearing evaluations allows the hearing loss to be tracked appropriately.
When working with a hearing care professional you trust, it will be determined when the hearing loss should be treated and exactly what that process looks like.
Scheduling a comprehensive hearing assessment is the first step to healthy hearing. Our team of professionals is here to help and ensure a long healthy life of listening.
Help Yourself & Loved Ones
Discussing concerns with family members or loved ones includes them in the process of managing the hearing loss. A hearing loss affects those around us just as much as it does to the person who is experiencing it, and having a support system through the treatment process is crucial to the success of that person.
House of Hearing is dedicated to supporting the residents of Northern Utah. We encourage everyone to come in and have a hearing assessment. If you cannot make it to an office, we offer Tele Audiology as well to ensure your hearing is taken care of no matter where you are.