Have you ever wondered if you have hearing loss? It isn’t uncommon. In fact, about 25% of Americans ages 55 to 64 have some hearing loss, and that percentage doubles for people over 70. Unfortunately, people with hearing loss often wait years before seeking treatment.
Signs of Hearing Loss
You may exhibit signs of hearing loss and not realize it because you’ve become accustomed to going about your daily life with limited hearing. Here are some early signs of hearing loss:
- Asking people to speak slower or repeat themselves
- A spouse or partner comments on your struggle
- Distorted sounds, particularly speech
- Trouble hearing high-frequency sounds, like children’s voices
- Inability to hear consonants
- Problems hearing in noisy environments
- Turning up your television, headphones or radio to excessive volumes
The auditory cortex of your brain relies on signals from your ears to process sounds. If you have hearing loss, your brain will not receive enough stimulation to stay active and healthy. Lower brain activity impairs cognitive functions like memory formation and problem-solving. Hearing loss has also been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
You may also find yourself retreating from social situations if you have untreated hearing loss. Socializing is an excellent way to keep your mind active, but it may be challenging to interact with others if you can’t hear them. Withdrawing puts you at risk for isolation, which can lead to depression.
Benefits of Early Treatment
It’s easier and less expensive to treat hearing loss if you’re diagnosed early enough. Getting a hearing evaluation allows an audiologist to determine the cause and severity of your condition and sets a baseline for future reference.
Seeking treatment is better for your brain and relationships. You won’t have to worry about missing out on conversations and social gatherings because you can’t hear. You’ll also prevent further hearing damage when you receive proper treatment.
How Hearing Aids Can Help
An audiologist will work with you to determine the best course of action to treat your hearing loss and may recommend hearing aids. Here are some of the advantages of wearing hearing devices:
- Hearing aids are adjustable and have directional microphones so that you can participate in social interactions.
- Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream audio right to your devices. You’ll be able to engage in phone conversations and listen to your favorite shows without having to strain to hear.
- You can reduce the effects of tinnitus. Masking technology can ease the stress caused by ringing in your ears, so you can enjoy every moment of your day.
Start yourself down the road to better hearing with Audio Help’s free online hearing screening.