Behind arthritis and hypertension, hearing loss is the third most prevalent health condition among older Americans. Even for younger people, it is taking its toll; exposure to loud noises may soon replace aging as the primary cause of hearing loss.
Because hearing loss happens gradually, it frequently goes undetected and unrecognized. Meanwhile, you could be missing out on a myriad of sounds, some enriching and some with the potential to save your life.
Take note of these three warning signs to see if you or someone you know is suffering from hearing loss.
1. "Nobody speaks up anymore."
Usually, with age-related hearing loss you tend to lose higher-pitched sounds first. Are you having trouble hearing your kids or grandkids? Maybe you’ve found yourself unable to understand what women and people with soft voices are saying. If you find yourself nodding and smiling just to cover up the fact that you don’t know what someone just said, this is a red flag that may indicate you are experiencing hearing loss.
2. "I can't hear you; it's just too noisy."
Are conversations at parties and in loud restaurants virtually impossible for you to follow? Do you find that carrying on a discussion in the midst of noises from cars or airplanes is difficult? Since many social interactions take place against the backdrop of distracting sounds, you might be missing out on important information. What’s more, you’re probably putting yourself under a great deal of stress just trying to keep up.
3. "Wow, your TV is too loud!"
Have any of your friends or family members said this to you recently? Have they started to make comments like, “You should really get your hearing checked?” Cranking up the volume on your television or radio is one of the most obvious symptoms of hearing loss.
Fortunately, you do not have to continue to miss out on the conversations and sounds around you, nor pretend that you understand comments you didn’t actually hear. Today’s hearing aids are smaller and much more effective than ever. Although they cannot restore your hearing to its original acuity, they can amplify the sounds you want to hear, while simultaneously reducing distracting background noise.