Listen here! You might need a hearing test
You might have noticed that you have started saying, “Please would you repeat that!” more than normal lately. Asking people to repeat themselves is one of the biggest warnings sign you might have a hearing problem and might require a hearing test. Conversations around you always sound muffled? Needing people to repeat themselves is just one of the reasons you might need a hearing test – there are other warnings signs too.
Years ago, when you were born, you would have undergone your first hearing test – but now you are an adult and are worried that your hearing is not up to par. Loss of hearing ranks as the third most prevalent condition in seniors today after hypertension and arthritis. If you are young and experiencing hearing loss, don’t ignore it, thinking it’s something old fogies get and that your symptoms will just pass over. It’s a big concern in young people too. Researchers have noted an increase in children’s hearing problems and the number one culprit for this problem is noise.
Signs you could have hearing problems
- You can’t hear when you are in a noisy place: Loud transport, loud party sounds, movies, and being in large crowds, you battle to make out the sounds. You are finding you are battling to hold conversations because you can’t hear well. This can cause great stress and worse, cognitive decline.
- You need to crank up the volume when the people around you are complaining that everything is way too loud. This is another typical sign of hearing loss. Teens often crank up the sound on their iPods because they simply like the loud music, but their ears can be affected by this and parents should warn their young people about this.
- You have ringing in your ears: Usually, when you have ringing in your ears, it’s called tinnitus. This can occur after you have been exposed to loud noises. It’s a warning sign of hearing loss, especially if it does not go away. Even a child can complain of ringing in the ears, pain, or difficulty hearing and would need to get his or her ears tested.
- Not hearing everyday sounds: You notice when people are talking to you, you find yourself turning your ear to listen. What about the birds around you – can you hear them singing and chirping around you? You might have noticed you are not hearing the beep of incoming messages on your phone.
- You have trouble talking on the phone because you can’t hear: This could particularly be in noisy areas. Instead of avoiding calls from your loved ones because you can’t hear properly, rather go and have your ears tested so you can reclaim your hearing. Sometimes, people just aren’t aware of the consequences of not treating a hearing impairment. Research shows that those who suffer from loss of hearing can experience isolation, embarrassment, and depression.
Possible causes of hearing loss
- Damage to your inner ear:Exposure to loud noises and aging causes wear and tear on the nerve cells or hairs in the ear cochlea which sends signals to the brain. When the hairs or nerves cells are damaged, electrical signals are being transmitted ineffectively and it is very possible you can experience hearing loss.
- A buildup of earwax:This can block the ear canal, preventing conduction of sound waves. Sometimes the earwax needs to be removed by an ear specialist.
- Abnormal growths, tumors or ear infections that occur in the middle or outer ear can cause hearing loss.
- A ruptured eardrum from very loud blasts of noise or changes in pressure, or if you poke your eardrum with objects – these can all cause your ear to rupture.
- Heredity: Just your genetic makeup may make you more susceptible to ear damage from noise or aging for example.
- Some medications such as antibiotics and certain chemotherapy drugs are capable of damaging the inner ear. Temporary hearing loss and ringing in the ear can occur if you take high doses of pain relievers. These include aspirin and other certain drugs or diuretics.
- Some illnesses can result in high fever, like meningitis, causing damage to the cochlea.
Just do it – get tested!
Hearing tests can take place in many places. This can be at your doctor, a hearing lab, an audiologist, or a speech therapist. The ears on the body are the last body feature to age. If you don’t want your hearing to age as slow as your ears do, get tested – a.s.a.p.