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Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss & hearing impairment

When you have trouble hearing what’s being said around you, you can feel very isolated. Cut off from the conversation and unable to keep up with a debate or laugh along with jokes, you can feel left out and alone.

You are not alone

When it comes to dealing with hearing impairment, you are not alone. One out of three people over age 65 has some form of hearing loss. It is not only older people who experience hearing difficulties. Young people can also be hearing impaired due to any number of factors, including childhood illnesses or too much exposure to loud noise or music. The truth is, people of all ages may be experiencing untreated hearing loss. With many different treatment options available, there is little reason to avoid taking action.

Age-related hearing loss

Age-related hearing loss is often categorized as mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Having a mild hearing loss means that you will have trouble hearing and understanding soft sounds, sounds from a distance or speech against a background of noise. People with a moderate hearing loss will find it difficult to hear regular speech, even at close distances.

Reading to Children Age-related hearing loss can occur gradually as you grow older. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older and elderly people. The age-related hearing loss most often occurs in both ears, and because the loss is gradual, you may not even realize that you have lost some of your ability to hear.

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It can be difficult to distinguish age-related hearing loss from hearing loss that can occur for other reasons. There may be more than one cause that contributes to a person’s hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by long-term exposure to sounds that are too loud or last too long. This can damage the sensory hair cells in your ear that allow you to hear. Once these hair cells are damaged, they do not grow back, and your ability to hear is diminished.

Conditions that are more common in older people, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can contribute to hearing loss. Medications that are toxic to the sensory cells in your ears (for example, some chemotherapy drugs) can also cause hearing loss.

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Have you noticed a difference?

Having a hearing loss might become noticeable for you as you start to miss out on the conversation with your loved ones in a busy restaurant or you need to turn up the TV to be able to hear your favorite TV program properly. It may be just everyday life sounds such as the ocean or even the birds singing. Safety can also be an issue with hearing loss. Imagine if you don’t hear the car right behind you when walking in a busy city or if you don’t hear the fire alarm in your house.

It Doesn't Only Affect You

Hearing loss can be frustrating for you and the people around you. You may begin to withdraw, lose your self-confidence and feel isolated from others, especially in group situations. Perhaps you even experience that it has some difficult to manage your job satisfactorily or causes communication troubles at it.

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The longer you wait the harder it gets

When your brain is deprived of sound stimulation, it loses the ability to process sounds. The longer you wait, the more sounds disappear, and it takes more time to re-adapt. You get your vision tested regularly but what about your hearing? It is recommended to get a routine screening every ten years until the age of 50 and at least every three years after turning 50. A hearing test can tell you if you have a hearing loss and hearing care professional can advise you on what you can do about it. Waiting to treat hearing loss can result in people missing out on conversations with family and friends. It can even lead to feelings of isolation.

Research shows that seeking out hearing loss treatment as quickly as possible can help improve an individual’s cognitive abilities.

If you feel you have a hearing loss, contact Ponte Vedra Hearing Associates or St. Augustine Hearing Associates to learn about hearing loss treatments today.