Hearing Loss: How to Recognize It

Hearing loss is devastating to experience, especially if it becomes permanent. When caught early, many forms of hearing loss are treatable, and some can be reversed. Unfortunately, many people ignore the signs of hearing loss. Ignoring the symptoms will only make hearing loss worsen over time.

What Are the General Symptoms of Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can happen at any age and may even occur in the womb as a child develops. Seeking early treatment from hearing loss doctors and specialists is critical. The following are some of the most common symptoms of hearing loss.

  • People may constantly turn up the television or radio louder. Friends and family may complain about the noise.
  • Hearing loss sufferers may struggle to follow conversations, especially in loud environments.
  • Talking on the phone becomes increasingly difficult with hearing loss.
  • People may be able to hear but cannot understand what they are hearing.
  • Individuals may also find it challenging to determine where sound is coming from in an area.
  • Hearing loss sufferers may frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
  • People often become dependent upon a spouse to assist them when they cannot hear.
  • People that experience hearing loss may become exhausted after a large social gathering. This phenomenon is called listening fatigue.
  • Tinnitus or ringing of the ears is a common symptom of hearing loss.
  • Strangely enough, some sounds may seem overly loud for people with hearing loss.

If someone experiences the symptoms above, they should see a hearing specialist for testing. Hearing tests, along with other diagnostic approaches, will reveal the type of hearing loss and cause.

What Causes Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss happens for many reasons. The following are some of the most common reasons for hearing loss in adults. It is important to note that not all hearing loss is genetic. Some forms of hearing loss are environmental.

  • Middle ear diseases affect the tiny bones in the middle of the ear. Diseases prevent the bones from moving properly, impacting hearing.
  • Menieres disease is another cause of hearing loss. This disease usually affects people between the ages of 30 to 50 and causes disturbances in the middle ear. Hearing loss comes and goes, but some degree of loss becomes permanent.
  • Autoimmune ear diseases can also cause hearing loss. These disorders occur when the body begins to attack itself. This form of hearing loss progresses rapidly.
  • Some medications may lead to hearing loss, including large amounts of aspirin, certain antibiotics, and loop diuretics.
  • Damage to the hairs and nerves inside the cochlea can also cause hearing loss.

See a Hearing Specialist
Some people do not realize they have hearing loss right away. Family and friends may notice the problem first. Those experiencing the symptoms above should talk to their doctor about hearing evaluations. These tests are integral for diagnosing hearing conditions and determining treatment options.

Hearing aids offer renewed hearing, allowing people to participate in life again. These aids are more discreet than in the past and much more comfortable. People can wear them all day and will often forget about them.

With so many hearing aids on the market, it is wise to seek a hearing specialist to determine which will be most beneficial. Depending on a person's insurance, there may be little to no out-of-pocket costs for these aids.

When hearing loss begins to occur, individuals need to take immediate action. Waiting too long to seek treatment will only worsen the hearing loss.

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