If you think you might be losing your hearing, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) more than 30% of adults over 65 have some degree of hearing loss. That includes 14% of people between the ages of 45 and 64 have some degree of hearing difficulty. There are many signs and symptoms of hearing loss you should pay attention to, including if you:
- Hear muffled speech or sounds
- Have a problem understanding individual words
- Need people to speak more loudly or slowly
- Have to turn up the television or radio
- Withdraw from social events or conversations
There are many causes of hearing loss including aging, continuous exposure to loud noises, heredity, ear infections or damage to your ears from pressure changes, and even a buildup of earwax. The best thing you can do is to prevent hearing loss and damage to your ears. You should:
- Protect your ears by wearing earplugs or earmuffs if you are in a loud workplace
- Have your hearing tested by an audiologist or ENT specialist. Current recommendations are to have your hearing tested at least every 10 years through age 50, and every three years after age 50.
- Protect your ears from damaging loud noises in your daily activities and recreation, especially listening to rock concerts, shooting guns or riding in loud vehicles.
- Take breaks from continuous loud noises.
If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, don’t wait until your hearing gets worse! Schedule a hearing test and find out just how many sounds and conversation you might be missing. Hearing screenings are an inexpensive and quick way to give you peace of mind. There are many treatment options available for hearing loss, including several types of hearing aids and cochlear implants. You and your audiologist or ENT specialist can decide which option is best for you depending on the degree of your hearing loss and your individual wishes. Don’t miss out on your life; call today and hear better tomorrow!