Gradual or sudden hearing loss can significantly alter your ability to interact with people and often times make you feel disconnected from conversations. Also, just simple tasks like watching television or talking on the phone can become difficult.
As we age, it is natural that our hearing will begin to be compromised. This process becomes more noticeable for those in their mid-60’s and can worsen with age, particularly as they hit 80 years old or older.
We are all born with hair cells that are key to hearing, but throughout life, these hair cells can become weakened and damaged. As they weaken, our ability to hear goes down. The effects of the damage are different for everyone and the rate at which there is a decline in hearing varies. For some it can come begin earlier in life.
It is important to pay attention to the warning signs of hearing loss. You may want to check with your physician for a hearing test if you are having trouble with the following:
- Have to strain to hear normal conversation
- Have to watch other people’s faces very carefully to follow what they are saying
- Need to ask people to repeat what they’ve said
- Often misunderstand what people are saying
- Turn up the volume of the television or radio up so high that others complain
- Feel that people are mumbling when they are talking to you
- Find that the effort to hear leaves you feeling tired and irritated
- Notice, when using the phone, that you hear better with one ear than the other
It is also important to note that loud noises throughout life can affect the hearing loss progression. Everyone should take steps to protect their hearing at sporting events, concerts, while using ear buds for music and in other places with high concentrations of noise. There are plenty of noise cancelling options available to help with hearing protection.