Most people are aware that hearing is more likely to decline as you age, but often the problems of hearing loss come on gradually, which means you might be the last person to notice that your hearing isn’t as great as it once was. Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common conditions that affects people over the age of 65—in fact, about one in three older adults have some level of hearing loss—so it’s important to understand what some of the early signs of this condition are so you can learn if you need to have your hearing checked.
The Dangers of Hearing Loss
For most people hearing loss is annoying because it makes it harder to enjoy your everyday life—you might miss parts of conversations, have your television volume louder, or have difficulty following conversations in a crowd—but there are other potential problems with hearing loss that can be more serious. Hearing loss could cause you to miss doctor’s instructions and advice, and make it hard to hear everything from phone calls and doorbells to smoke detectors at home and sirens on the road.
Subtle Signs of Hearing Loss
Often the early signs of hearing loss are harder to detect because you can still hear some of what is happening around you. If you answer yes to some of these questions, consider visiting your audiologist to get your hearing tested:
- Do you often miss parts of conversations when you’re in a crowd?
- Do you have difficulty listening and following conversations when there is a lot of background noise, such as in a restaurant?
- Do you often have to ask people to repeat things?
- Does it seem like everyone is either talking too low or too fast?
- Are you unable to hear sounds that are very high-pitched or very low?
- Do you notice subtle ringing in your ears?
- Do you often turn your head to your “favorite” side where it’s easier to hear?
- Do others complain that your television is too loud?
- Are you embarrassed to ask people to continually repeat themselves, so you miss parts of conversations?
- Does the simple act of listening make you feel tired?
Treating Hearing Loss
Unfortunately there is no way to bring back damaged hearing, but there are plenty of effective treatments that can make it easier for you to hear the world around you, and it’s often easier to treat these conditions if you can catch them early and prevent further hearing loss whenever possible. Find out more about what types of hearing aids are available by visiting the Columbia Basin Hearing Center website today.