We have spent a lot more time away from our loved ones this year than usual. And so if you’ve finally caught up with them and noticed their hearing is a bit off, it’s likely you’ve picked up on it sooner than they have. We often don’t notice the gradual changes in ourselves and those we see all the time, but when we do it’s important to know early signs as there are a wealth of treatments and hearing aids out there.
Amplifon, a global leader in hearing care, has shared a number of signs to look out for, these range from noticing that a loved one’s TV is louder than usual to them asking people to repeat themselves often.
Many people with hearing loss find it particularly difficult to hear people properly while in a crowded or noisy area and can often misunderstand or misinterpret a conversation.
There are also many different types of hearing loss, such as only in one ear or having trouble hearing high pitched frequencies.
In short, no two pairs of ears are the same.
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But there are many reasons why hearing loss can occur. Here are some common causes:
1. Aging and genetics
These two are out of our hands but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored.
Many people put off getting tested for hearing loss as they age, seeing it as a sign they are ‘getting old’ and not wanting to admit it. But hearing loss is nothing to be ashamed of and aids are now so discreet they often go completely unnoticed. Delaying an appointment with an audiologist only delays the time between receiving improved hearing again.
As for genetics, it’s key that if conditions run in the family you make sure a professional knows about it.
2. Exposure to loud noises or music
It may seem obvious but loud environments can have long-term detrimental effects on our hearing. This type of hearing loss can be caused by anything from going to a music concert to working on a construction site, and is one of the UK’s most common reason for hearing loss.
This type of hearing loss often results in an inability to hear certain high frequencies and struggling to follow conversations. There is also sometimes tinnitus and a decline in hearing over time.
3. Smoking, drinking or being overweight
We all know that smoking, and drinking and eating excessively can be detrimental to our overall health but it may come as a surprise that all three can lead to hearing problems.
4. Earwax and infection
Needless to say, infections or a build up of earwax can affect your hearing. That said, if you are noticing pain or excessive wax you shouldn’t put anything in your ear to try and clear it as this can cause serious damage. You should always speak to a professional.
This is particularly important to look out for if you’re taking medication regularly as some medication – known as ototoxic medicines – damage the cochlea in the inner ear over time.
Whatever the cause, Amplifon has stores on most high streets across the country – and its network of hearing professionals will be able to help. If you are worried about a loved one, you can ensure that they give their hearing a health MOT this New Year – and you can even come along with them to the appointment.