Hearing loss is one of the most common health issues in the US today. 1 in 3 people over 65 and half of the people over 75 have a hearing loss.
This can be due to patients not identifying their problems when they first arise. We are dedicated to raising awareness and educating the residents of Maryland.
The reason we need to raise awareness about hearing loss is that, unfortunately, it is not part of the yearly physical, and it is left undetected.
This is the number one problem we face as audiologists.
In most cases, by the time a patient has come to see us, the damage has been done, and all we can do is help manage the issue and limit its progress.
Why Do People Not Seek Help?
Hearing loss is such a slow, gradual process that the impact may take longer to realize.
When it comes to hearing loss, sometimes “you don’t know what you don’t know.”
People forget that they should be hearing the birds chirping in the morning and that they should not be saying “What?” all of the time.
Also, some people visualize the big hearing aids from yesteryear, and they don’t know how tiny and inconspicuous they are now.
They associate hearing loss and hearing aids with old age, when actually lifestyle and heredity play large roles as well.
Common First Signs Of Hearing Loss
Some of these signs can go unnoticed as just a part of the conversation. Please pay close attention to your habits and how they change and evolve over time.
You will be best at identifying your problems or even help someone close to you identify theirs.
Asking Someone To Repeat — This is commonplace in a lot of settings. If you find you have to ask more than most people, and even when background noise is minimal, then that may be the first sign of hearing loss.
Mumbling — If you notice yourself or a loved one mumbling more often, then this is due to the lack of connection between speech and auditory processing.
Volume — Raising the volume of the TV or phone or always using the speakerphone setting to handle calls.
Frustration or Blame — Losing your cool with other people because you think they are not speaking loud enough is a sign that your hearing has been declining for some time by this point. So much so that your everyday life has been affected, and it’s irritating you.
Social Withdrawal — Canceling plans or purposely avoiding social settings and staying home is very common among people with hearing issues. It is a lot easier to listen if there is nothing to listen to.
What Should You Do
We will discuss the results with you and explain the nature of the hearing loss.
If the hearing loss is caused by something that can be treated medically (i.e., wax or fluid), we will refer you to an ENT doctor.
If the hearing loss can’t be treated medically, we will discuss your options and how we can help you achieve better hearing.