It’s estimated that nearly 50 million people in the United States live with some hearing loss.
Potential causes of hearing loss include:
- Age-related degeneration
- Genetic mutations
- Noise exposure
- Ototoxic pharmaceuticals
- Cigarette smoking
- Diabetes mellitus
- Cardiovascular disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Idiopathic (unknown) or sudden causes
If you believe you may be experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to consult with a doctor or audiologist. They will be able to administer a hearing test and provide you with any assistance you may need.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Hearing loss is often a slowly progressing process, meaning you may not notice it immediately.
Deafness is not always an all-or-nothing condition. You could be deaf to certain types of frequencies or only to a mild degree. You may only have hearing loss in one ear, or, in the early stages, it may not significantly impact your life.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself that may help you determine if you’re experiencing hearing loss:
- Do you have trouble hearing conversations when there’s background noise?
- Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do you feel like people are mumbling more often than they used to?
- Do you have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds, like a child’s voice or the sound of birds?
- Do you feel like you’re routinely missing parts of conversations?
- Do you turn up the volume on your television more often than you used to?
- Do you often miss the doorbell or your telephone ringing?
- Can you hear mosquitos, bees, or other bugs buzzing when they are nearby?
- Can you hear leaves rustling in the wind?
- Can you hear your refrigerator humming?
- Can you hear raindrops falling?
These questions are not meant to be a substitute for a medical diagnosis. But they may help you determine if you should seek out professional help.
When To See A Doctor
Unmanaged hearing loss can disrupt your quality of life and prevent you from meeting your responsibilities. It can make it challenging to communicate with loved ones, enjoy your favorite activities, or even keep up with current events.
If your hearing abilities interfere with your everyday life, make an appointment with a doctor or audiologist. Even if your hearing loss is mild, or you are not exactly sure, getting a clinical hearing test will be helpful.
Don’t wait to seek help or make excuses about your capabilities. Many technologies and resources are available to improve your condition and quality of life.