The signs of hearing loss are everywhere — do you know what to look for?
We’re not here to be alarmist — we’re here to help you protect your hearing and provide you with the best treatment possible when you need it. We’re also here to educate you and loved ones about potential signs of hearing loss, as well as potential threats to your hearing health.
So, in no particular order, here are some things you absolutely need to know related to your hearing health.
Your job might be harming your hearing
Work in construction, manufacturing, or agriculture? You’re probably being exposed to sounds that are loud enough to damage your hearing. Anything prolonged exposure to sounds above 85 dB (think of the volume of a hair dryer, garbage disposal, etc.) could pose permanent damage to your hearing.
And believe it or not, preschool classrooms, loud bars and restaurants, and similarly loud professional environments present the same risk to your hearing.
Whenever possible, wear hearing protection, take breaks to give your ears a rest, and get your hearing tested regularly in order to monitor your hearing health.
Your phone can help you protect your hearing
It’s true for iPhone users! Its health app tracks how loud you’re listening to audio through your AirPods and collects the data so you can see how safe your volume is on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
This is a great way to understand your relationship with the sounds you’re funneling directly into your ears, and in the case of those who are listening at too loud a volume, to make changes in habits that will preserve their hearing long-term.
Similarly, for those who wear hearing aids and have smartphones, both iPhone and Android app stores feature manufacturer-specific apps that are compatible with certain hearing devices. These apps will help you fine tune your hearing aids, create location-specific settings, and collect data that you can share with your hearing care provider to create an even more custom hearing aid experience.
Your friends and family might know more about your hearing than you do!
Hearing loss is a gradual process. For many who experience it, they often don’t realize it’s an issue until they have had it for years, and then often wait a few more years before doing anything about it!
Your loved ones have probably picked up on the signs long ago. Are you watching TV at too high a volume? Does everyone, particularly children and women, seem to mumble when they’re speaking to you? Are you constantly asking them to repeat themselves?
These all could be signs of hearing loss, and though it’s commonplace to feel defensive when they’re pointed out to you, take heed and seek help from a professional.
The sooner you’re able to get professional help, the sooner you can get back to feeling like yourself. (And the more your audiologist can preserve!)
We like to recommend that you bring a loved one with you to your hearing exam, because these folks can provide us with a perspective on your hearing that you might not have, giving us even more insight into the difficulties you’ve been facing.
Things like tinnitus and balance issues can be related to hearing loss
It’s true! Prolonged exposure to noise not only causes hearing loss, but can also cause tinnitus, as well.
Tinnitus manifests itself by producing sounds — usually buzzing, pulsing, or humming-like sounds — that are only perceptible to the person experiencing them. It’s typically caused by damage to your hearing.
Similarly, issues in the inner ear can be the source of both hearing loss and balance problems.
Depending on the reason you’re experiencing dizziness and balance problems, certain treatments, including hearing aids, may help alleviate your discomfort.
Hearing aids can also help those with tinnitus. Many hearing aids contain a feature called a masker that can be programmed to play white noise at frequencies that essentially cancel out the tinnitus sounds you’re hearing.
Regular hearing tests can protect your long-term hearing health!
Hearing loss is a natural part of aging, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to preserve your hearing as you age!
We recommend that anyone over the age of 55 get their hearing checked on an annual basis. This helps us monitor your hearing, enabling us to detect hearing loss the moment it begins to occur.
This means we can make recommendations early, and the earlier we can do so, the better chance we have of preserving your healthy hearing for years to come!
Even if you’re well over the age of 55 and haven’t been getting your hearing tested, it’s still critical that you start now. Hearing loss can be associated with other health conditions like diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular disease, depression, and more.
Good hearing health can be a pathway to better overall health, so don’t delay in getting the care you deserve.
Your provider is vital to your success
It’s true. Studies show that the better your relationship with your audiologist is, the more likely it is that you’ll follow recommendations, follow through on wearing your technology, and achieve successful hearing outcomes.
That’s why we at Colorado Ear Care place such an emphasis on getting to know you as an individual. Tailoring your care to your unique needs is, in our opinion, the most important thing we can do for you and your hearing health.