Do you know if you have a hearing loss? Permanent hearing loss can occur in as little as 15 minutes with exposure to certain sounds, and almost instantly with unprotected exposure to any sounds above 90 decibels. Once permanent hearing damage occurs, it cannot be reversed. Hearing loss can go undetected for many years, as people are not always aware of it. Seeing a spouse or loved one suffer with hearing loss can be frustrating and heartbreaking, it is often family members or friends that are the first to recognise that a hearing loss is present in an individual.
Hearing loss is typically a gradual process that affects certain listening frequencies more than it affects others. But hearing loss is extremely complicated, every loss is individual; every solution unique. Many hearing problems can be easily treated or resolved by a Hearing Healthcare Professional. However, hearing loss can be more difficult to treat if left neglected or mismanaged. The sooner an individual seeks treatment for hearing problems, the better we can be at slowing the negative social, psychological, cognitive and health effects that come with it.
Hearing loss is common in the UK, affecting about 1 in 7 people, it can be present from birth or acquired later in life. If you have a family history of hearing loss, have been exposed to loud noise, take medication, have diabetes, circulation or heart problems then you are at a greater risk. Annual check-ups are important, and should you have any concerns about your hearing it is important to book in for a hearing test immediately.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss:
- Muffled hearing
- Require frequent repetition of speech
- Difficulty understanding what other people are saying, especially within background noise or competing voices
- Ability to hear someone speaking, but not able to distinguish specific words
- Higher volume when listening to the television or radio
- Anxiety; avoiding conversation and social interaction as hearing becomes more difficult
- Depression; many adults may be depressed because of how hearing loss affects their social life
- Ringing, roaring, hissing, or buzzing in the ears (Tinnitus)
5 Steps to Better Hearing:
1. Have your hearing checked regularly. If a problem is suspected, seek help from a Hearing Healthcare Professional.
2. Learn all you can about your hearing problem. Find out about your particular hearing loss and work with a hearing professional to determine the best solution for you.
3. Keep a positive attitude whilst you seek help. Much of your success with your hearing aid will depend on your attitude, your desire to learn, and a determination to increase your ability to hear.
4. Set realistic expectations. Hearing aids will improve your hearing and quality of life, but cannot restore your hearing fully.
5. Practice, time and patience. The road to hearing again can be challenging. It’s an investment, where benefit will be realised usually around 45 days. Remember, the more you wear your hearing aids, the better your experience will be.