As people get older, it’s common for many to experience changes in hearing, and it’s usually a subtle shift.
NIDCD Epidemiology and Statistics Program has shown that in America about one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 suffers from hearing loss, and that almost half of men and women who are older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
The age-related hearing problems seldom happen overnight, and it’s crucial to pay attention to the first signs that can point to declining hearing.
At Resonance Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, as hearing care experts and enthusiasts, we are committed to educating people on identifying and treating hearing loss – here’s a list of early signs:
High-Pitched Voices Sound Muffled or Unclear
The cells in the inner ear organ that helps you hear and detect high-pitched sounds are usually the first to go. As a result, it may be more difficult to understand anyone with a high-pitched voice, like children and women, as well as something like a beep of a microwave or the chirping of the birds.
Difficulty Following Conversations in Noisy Places
With age, changes in hearing and, specifically, in how the brain processes sound, can also make it harder to deal with background noise. If one has trouble hearing the high tones, it will be easier to hear the noise than the conversation of people around. The background noise at malls, restaurants, etc. is regarded as low-pitched; many letters used in speech, such as “f” and “s,” are considered high-pitched.
Feeling Exhausted After Social Events
When one cannot hear all the sounds, his or her brain needs to fill in the gaps to make sense of what’s being said, especially when there’s more than one person speaking at a time. This takes a great deal of focus and effort, and may make a person feel exhausted after being in social settings.
Watching People’s Lips Instead of Making Eye Contact
When sense of hearing stops working as well, the brain tries to compensate with using more of the eyesight. People having trouble hearing often start to watch the speaker’s mouth rather than look into their eyes – they can “see” the sounds even if they can’t hear them.
Ears Feel Clogged
If a doctor finds your ears to be clear from wax or fluid, and your ears still feel clogged, it’s a good idea to get a hearing test – age-related hearing loss can make sounds seem dull or muffled.
TV Volume Keeps Being Cranked Up
Most of the things we watch on TV tend to feature dialogue, sound effects, and music. If a person hears bass tones better than high tones, the music and effects can muffle parts of the speech, and in order to understand what the characters are saying, the volume may need to be increased. If others are continuously complaining that the TV is too loud, it’s time to check your hearing. The same can be said for listening to the radio – when one starts experiencing hearing loss, he or she will keep the radio at a high volume.
Other signs of hearing loss include difficulty understanding on the telephone, requiring frequent repetition, feeling that others seem to be mumbling, ringing in the ears, and responding inappropriately to conversational questions.
If any of this sound like you, or someone you know, talk to your doctor or an audiologist – professionally fit hearing aids could ease the strain.
If left untreated, hearing loss can lead to a myriad of problems, such as emotional, psychological and social. Hearing loss can make it very challenging, even impossible, to engage in conversations with family and friends, leading to frustration and feelings of isolation, as well as a lot of distress due to not being able understand and follow doctors’ advice, respond to alarms and warnings, and hear phones, doorbells, and vehicle horns.
For comprehensive hearing evaluations & exams and hearing aid evaluations, go here.
At Resonance Audiology, the hearing aid fitting appointment is where you receive your hearing aid(s) and are appropriately “fit” with the hearing aids through very specific computer software programs that match your hearing loss to a first fit algorithm in the hearing aid we choose for you.
If you feel you or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss, the best place to start is a licensed audiologist, such as Dr. Zoe Horan. Contact Resonance Audiology and Hearing Aid Center today at one of our Audiology offices in New Holland, or Lancaster, PA and learn more about hearing loss and superior hearing aid solutions.