Signs of hearing loss are very important since most of the time, hearing loss is a slow progressive problem that other people perceive before you do. If you identify yourself with any of the signs below, you should see a licensed Audiologist to have your hearing tested. Most insurance plans cover a hearing evaluation.
Signs of Hearing Loss
- Require frequent repetition.
- Have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people.
- Think that other people sound muffled or like they’re mumbling.
- Difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms.
- Have trouble hearing children and women.
- Have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume.
- Answer or respond inappropriately in conversations.
- Have ringing in your ears.
- Read lips or more intently watch people’s faces when they speak to you.
- You or a close one suspect you have hearing loss.
Impact of Hearing Loss
As indicated by the Better Hearing Institute individuals experiencing hearing loss have a higher incidence of unemployment, depression, anxiety disorders and stress-related illnesses.
How Does the Ear Work?
The ear works by receiving sound waves and sending messages to the brain. The outer ear includes the part of the ear you can see and the ear canal. The sound waves go through the ear canal and hit the eardrum and cause it to vibrate. The vibration of the eardrum causes the tiny bones in the ear to move. This movement sends the sound waves to the inner ear.
Ear problems are often caused by multiple factors including congenital reasons, disease, ear infections, noise exposure and even medications. For additional information please visit ASHA-Causes of Hearing Loss.
Congenital hearing loss (hearing loss at birth) can be caused by genetic or non genetic factors. Among the non genetic factors, things like maternal infections, prematurity and birth injuries are common reasons for hearing loss.
Loud noise and/or prolonged exposure to noise can be very damaging to hearing. Sounds louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss. Clear signs of dangerous noise levels include muffled speech around you and/or ringing in your ears (tinnitus) after noise exposure.
Of all the people that could benefit from having hearing aids, less than 30% have them.