Recognizing Early Signs and Understanding Common Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing is one of our most important senses and plays a huge role in our health and well-being. We use our ears when we communicate with others, orient ourselves in our surroundings when we listen to music and audiobooks, and on a variety of other occasions. Hearing is also vital for us to be able to detect risky situations and dangers in time, for example in traffic. In other words, without our hearing, we would face numerous challenges. As a result, it’s critical to protect our hearing and seek treatment as soon as the first signs of hearing loss appear.

Hearing loss can be congenital or develop over the years. It usually develops slowly, making people unaware that their hearing has changed. The treatment you receive depends on the cause of your hearing loss.

In this post, we’ll go through the early signs of hearing loss, and what you can do to treat it.

Early Signs

Hearing impairment is not something that happens overnight. On the contrary, it’s usually a prolonged process in which hearing gradually deteriorates over time. So, it can be difficult to detect hearing loss in the beginning.

Typically, the early signs of hearing loss are muffling of speech and other sounds, and having difficulty understanding words, especially when in the middle of a crowd or against background noise. Another early sign is having trouble hearing consonants, and frequently asking other people to speak more slowly, loudly, and clearly.

In addition to often starting to adapt their behavior to their poor hearing, for example, by turning up the volume on the TV, the brain has to make more effort to hear. This extra work for the brain means that it can become overworked, which can leave you feeling tired, have more difficulty concentrating, and suffer from headaches. In other words, your hearing loss begins to affect your quality of life and a recommendation is to see if you need a hearing aid. 

If your doctor advises you to get one, go online and search for hearing aids near me to find a good hearing care professional who can provide expert advice on diagnosing hearing loss and consulting on the latest hearing aid technology.

It is not uncommon to try to reduce, or not even want to admit, your discomfort. Having to wear hearing aids all of a sudden can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. But, it doesn’t have to be that way, when it comes to hearing loss, it is important to seek help at the earliest possible stage. By slowing down the negative trend early, you increase your chances of retaining as much of your hearing as possible.

Common Causes

There are many causes of hearing loss. For example, it could be attributed to aging. Age-related hearing loss (presbyacusis) is extremely common and usually occurs around the age of 50.

Hearing loss due to age usually affects both ears at the same time and often affects sound frequencies in the higher register. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to hear treble tones in music and perceive bright voices.

You can also suffer from hearing loss if you’re exposed to sudden, loud sounds or medium sounds for a long time. If the ears don’t rest at regular intervals, the sensitive hair cells, membranes, nerves, and other parts of your ear wear out prematurely, which leads to impaired hearing. 

Lastly, there may be genetic causes for hearing loss. The way the ear develops during the fetal stage affects the risks of hearing loss. A congenital hearing loss can manifest itself either directly from birth or later in life.

Treatment

If you suspect that your hearing has deteriorated, you should seek help at a hearing clinic where they’ll determine whether it is due to earwax buildup or if it’s a matter of more severe symptoms. In the case of hearing loss, you can be referred to an audiologist for further treatment.

Most people who suffer from hearing loss can compensate for their hearing loss with the help of hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are both technically advanced and discreet. For many, starting to wear a hearing aid may feel a little unusual at first, but most people get used to being able to hear again relatively quickly and state that the hearing aid has given them a better quality of life.

Final Thoughts

Hearing loss can happen suddenly or gradually, and the early signs aren’t always obvious. If you have any of the most common symptoms, make sure to consult with a hearing professional who will conduct a test, and then manage or treat potential hearing loss.

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