Did you know that many people don’t even realize they are having issues with their hearing until a loved one points it out? Or that you don’t have to live with things you’ve simply become used to, like ringing in your ears, or avoiding parties because you can’t keep up with conversations? A hearing care professional or audiologist can help.
Hearing loss can affect every aspect of our lives — physically, mentally, and emotionally — and taking care of our hearing health can help us thrive at any stage in our lives. However, statistics say that the average American with hearing loss waits seven years before seeking help. [source]
But how do you know when you should visit a hearing care professional? Following are six common signs you may be experiencing hearing loss, or are ready for a checkup!
1. You have tinnitus
Tinnitus, often described as “ringing in the ears,” is a disruptive and frustrating condition. Caused by problems with the nerves inside your ears, it can also cause whirring, buzzing, or whooshing noises. For some, tinnitus is temporary after exposure to loud noises, but for many it’s a permanent condition. A hearing care professional or audiologist can recommend a hearing device that works to relieve and reduce symptoms of tinnitus.
2. You’re always turning up the TV
Are you finding yourself having trouble hearing the television? Family members or roommates complaining you play it too loud? Maybe you’re misunderstanding conversations on the phone or have to ask people to repeat things. Hearing loss can come on slowly, so you may not notice it at first. But when you (or maybe someone else) do notice, it might be time to schedule a hearing test.
3. You avoid social gatherings
Undiagnosed hearing loss can actually lead to depression. This is because the stress of not being able to keep up with multiple conversations can cause a person to withdraw from social situations, leading to isolation. A hearing care professional or audiologist can prescribe a hearing aid that helps minimize background noise and focus on specific sounds, letting you get out and live again. [source]
4. You have a lot of earwax
Everyone has earwax, but some people tend to generate more than others. Earwax buildup can prevent you from hearing properly. Whether you already have a hearing aid or have never had one before, ensuring you keep your ears (and devices!) clean is important for your hearing health. Remember, it’s difficult to remove excessive wax buildup without damaging your ears, but a hearing care professional or audiologist can perform this procedure easily and safely.
5. You experience sudden hearing loss
Sudden hearing loss can happen for a variety of reasons, but should always be treated as an emergency. Causes for acute hearing loss include: serious wax buildup, a perforated eardrum, physical trauma to the ear, or damage from a traumatic brain injury. Ensure you see a medical professional right away if you or a loved one experience sudden hearing loss and follow up with a hearing care professional or audiologist for further care.
6. You’re due for a checkup
And finally, if you’re due for a hearing test, schedule that appointment! If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re due for a hearing check, ask yourself a few questions. Are you age 60 or over? Do you (or did you) work in a high-noise job, like construction or the military? Has it been a few years since your last hearing test? Are you worried you might have hearing loss? Do your current devices need a tune-up? All of these are great reasons to schedule a visit with your hearing care professional.
If you’ve never made an appointment with a hearing care professional before, our easy hearing clinic locator can help. All you have to do is type in your address or zip code and you’re on your way to great hearing health!