Important signals of hearing loss
There are a variety of potential causes for hearing loss and it’s something that can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms as treatment is always at its most effective during the early stages of hearing loss. Here are some key signals to be wary of.
Trouble with background noise
If you often struggle to follow a conversation where more than one person is speaking at once, or find it particularly hard to hear what somebody is saying to you over low-level background noise, it’s imperative that get your hearing examined. Any muffled sound could be a signal of hearing impairment, with your ears struggling to filter through multiple frequencies at once. These symptoms should not be dismissed readily, simply as a result of natural aging or fatigue, as they could be one of the main signs of hearing loss.
Different perceptions to others around you
Do others often complain that you have the TV too loud? Or perhaps you feel that others talk too quietly while they think you are shouting? These are classic signs that you are overcompensating for deteriorated hearing and you may notice these symptoms as you get older. Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, is experienced in some degree by over half of people aged over 55. It’s a natural degradation in hearing sensitivity and it can be treated through the use of digital hearing aid technology. Modern hearing aids come in a variety of forms and are far more advanced in quality and performance compared to older models, as well as being more discrete and cosmetically appealing.
Constant internal noise
If you are experiencing ‘ringing’ sounds in one or both ears, it is likely that you may have tinnitus. Tinnitus is defined as any sound within the head or ears without the presence of an external sound stimulus. It is most commonly described as a faint ringing or hissing sound but can take any form. You shouldn’t panic, as this may just be a result of excessive wax build-up or an early symptom of an ear infection, both of which are easily treatable. If the sensation does not dissipate after a couple of days, be sure to get it examined by your local hearing specialist. In more serious cases, tinnitus can be persistent. Despite this, there are a range of management strategies and treatments available that can help you adjust to the sound and even ‘tune it out’ so that it no longer has an impact on your quality of life.
Your lifestyle can have a big impact on the quality of your hearing over time. Consider the things that you are exposing your ears to on a daily basis. Regular and extended exposure to loud noises can take its toll on your hearing, so it’s important that you wear adequate ear protection in noisy environments. If you work around loud noise, such as in a factory, garage or airport, ensure you follow the health and safety guidelines of your workplace. Protective ear-defenders should always be provided by your employer when noise is at a potentially damaging level. Another common example of noise exposure is through live music. If you frequently visit music concerts or if you play in a band, be sure to wear good ear protection (ideally custom-made ear defenders) as any ringing you experience following a loud gig is a sign of over exposure and ear damage.
If you have concerns surrounding the topics discussed or any other aspect of ear health, book an examination with a specialist. At Leightons our ear and eye care experts provide tailored treatment and advice to each patient. Get in touch and book an appointment at your local branch today.