Identifying the Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss develops slowly over time, so by the time you realize you may have a problem, it is a challenge to hear in most aspects of your life. This can affect every aspect of your life, professionally and socially, and even at home with the people that are the dearest to you. According to The Hearing Loss Association of America, it is estimated that it takes a person an average of seven years from the time they first experience a decay in their hearing to finally seek help. This is alarming because the longer you put off dealing with your hearing loss the more your hearing loss can progress. Not only does hearing loss affect your social life but also you’re sense of autonomy your mental health and physical health. The thing is, if you know how to identify hearing loss before it can progress then you can stop hearing loss from affecting you at a detrimental level.
Prevalence of Hearing Loss
It is estimated that there are at least 48 million people in the U.S. dealing with hearing loss alone. That is nearly 20% of all of Americans. While hearing loss has in the past been thought of a condition reserved for the elderly this is not always the case.
It is true that one in three people over the age of 65 experience some degree of hearing loss and for those over the age of 75, this number rises to 50%. However, hearing loss can affect anyone from newborn and on through the stages of life.
With the increase in noise and technology, noise is becoming a major contribution to hearing loss in younger generations. Recreation, excess traffic noise, the misuse of ear buds and exposure to noise at work all contribute to dangerous conditions affecting people of all ages. Noise-induced hearing loss has been estimated to effect 60% of the American workforce alone. Understanding how and when you are at risk for hearing loss is one of the biggest steps in prevention and recognizing acquired hearing loss. Regardless of your age it is a good idea to schedule an annual hearing test to make sure hearing loss is not creeping up on you.
Types of Hearing Loss
Age related hearing loss is commonly called presbycusis and occurs in about one-third of people in the United States between the ages of 65 to 75. For those older than 75, that number is approximately 1 in 2.
However presbycusis is commonly broken into three different categories:
- Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem transferring sound waves anywhere along the pathway through the outer or middle ear
- Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear accounting for about 90% of reported hearing loss.
- Mixed Hearing loss is a combination on sensorineural and conductive hearing loss
Each of these types of hearing loss decrease a person’s ability to hear sounds and frequencies, making it harder to communicate, process and succeed in the world around.
Knowing the Signs of Hearing Loss
If you know the signs of hearing loss, then you can be better prepared to know when it is time to take control of your hearing and seek treatment. A few common signs of hearing loss include:
- Having to ask people to repeat themselves
- Trouble hearing in group settings
- Believing that people mumble
- Listening to the radio, TV or phone loudly so others comment
- Trouble locating the source of a noise
- Struggling to hear in crowded or noisy
Treat Your Hearing Loss Today
If you are experiencing any of these issues and if you haven’t already, make an appointment for a hearing test today. The longer you wait to seek help, the worse these symptoms can become. For instance, are you finding it painful to attend activities in crowded settings that you previously may have thrived in? Struggling to hear in crowded settings can make it more tempting to avoid these events all together leading people to feel isolated, anxious and depressed. This affects your social life, your professional success, and even comfort at home. Don’t let it get to this point. Your hearing and associated health is just too important to ignore.