Hearing loss can be tough to identify because it usually occurs gradually. This means that people may not notice changes to their hearing health for quite some time. Because hearing loss can remain overlooked there is often a delay in treatment. It takes an average of 7 years for people to seek treatment for hearing loss from the time they start experiencing symptoms. A delay in treatment worsens symptoms and the cumulative toll hearing loss takes on daily life. It is important to be able to recognize early signs of hearing loss so you can intervene early which can transform your overall health and wellness.
Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss reduces a person’s ability to perceive and process sound. This produces a wide range of symptoms that impact communication, relationships, work performance, and social life. A few early signs to watch for include the following:
- Struggling to follow conversations: speech and sounds may be distorted or muffled, making it challenging to hear complete sentences. You may find yourself missing words or parts of a conversation and say “huh” or “what” in response to what someone is saying.
- Lip reading: to help identify individual words, people with hearing loss often lip read. Watching lips to distinguish words is a way to help make out what is being said and is another early sign of hearing loss.
- Turning up the volume: increasing the volume on electronic devices like the TV, phone, or speaker is another common way people try to compensate for reduced hearing ability. But turning up the volume can further distort sound, making it more challenging to hear.
- Feeling exhausted after socializing: hearing loss occurs when the brain receives less auditory information from the ears. This causes the brain to work harder in trying to receive and process sound. The brain overworking in this way contributes to fatigue which can leave people feeling more exhausted after conversations and social interactions.
- Avoiding conversations: conversations not only require more work but can be unpleasant and miscommunication can be frequent. This often leads to people with hearing loss avoiding conversations as much as possible. From keeping interactions short with loved ones to skipping out on social events and not participating in favorite activities; social withdrawal is a major outcome of untreated hearing loss.
These signs can start as being subtle and become more profound over time, as hearing loss remains untreated and symptoms worsen. If you recognize these signs, it is important to address hearing health as soon as possible. Early intervention makes a significant difference in the trajectory of your hearing health.
Steps to Address Hearing Loss
There is a vast amount of resources and services available to transform your hearing health. The first step to take to address hearing loss is to have your hearing evaluated. Hearing tests are facilitated by hearing healthcare providers and involve a painless process. This measures your hearing capacity in both ears which identifies any impairment and the degree of hearing loss you could be experiencing. Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider can recommend treatment options that will effectively meet those needs.
The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids – electronic devices that are designed to provide the ears and brain with significant hearing support. Hearing aids alleviate symptoms and maximize one’s capacity to hear and process sound. Today’s hearing aids are more equipped and technologically advanced than ever before. There is a wide range of options, features, and styles that deliver enhanced sound quality as well as connectivity, creating seamless listening experiences.
Benefits of Treatment
Hearing aids offer numerous benefits that support living a healthier and more satisfying life. This includes strengthening communication, improving relationships, enriching social engagement, and improving overall health. Hearing aids reduce health risks associated with hearing loss – cognitive decline, accidental injuries, and depressive symptoms. With hearing aids, people can navigate social settings and daily environments with greater ease, comfort, and safety. Being able to be more present and engaged enriches the quality time you can spend with others, supporting meaningful connections. Treating hearing loss is life-changing, contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. We look forward to helping you prioritize your hearing health.