Hearing loss isn’t just something that affects older people. It can occur at any age and you may not notice it until it’s become a real issue. Knowing the causes of hearing loss and the symptoms can help you identify hearing loss earlier and visit a professional.
Causes of hearing loss
There isn’t a single cause of hearing loss. It can be caused by certain medical conditions or as a side effect of medications. Infections that affect the eardrum can also damage the inner ear and cause hearing loss. It can also be caused by a build-up of ear wax.
Hearing loss can also be caused by noise. If you work in a noisy environment or attend loud events without hearing protection then you risk damaging your hearing permanently.
But while a lot of hearing loss isn’t reversible, there are ways to improve your hearing by visiting an audiologist to replace hearing aids and professionally clean your ears.
Symptoms of hearing loss
The symptoms of hearing loss can be slightly different for adults and children. In children, it can cause issues with language and speech development which might not be picked up unless early.
In adults, hearing loss can result in the following:
Turning the TV up loud
If you find that the TV volume is creeping up louder and louder as time goes by, you might be experiencing hearing loss. You may not even notice at first, but a family member may comment on the volume of the TV.
You struggle with conversations
Do you find that you can’t understand people when they’re talking on the phone or in a noisy environment? If you find you’re having to concentrate harder when talking to people then your hearing could be affected. Or you could be hearing people but not really understand what they’re saying. Asking people to repeat themselves often is a sign that you’re not hearing them properly rather than them talking too softly.
You can’t pinpoint sounds
When your hearing is good, you can tell which direction a sound is coming from with a good degree of accuracy. As hearing deteriorates, this is more difficult to do.
You find social events tiring
Do you find yourself unusually exhausted after social gatherings where lots of people are talking? This is known as listening fatigue. Having to concentrate hard on what people are saying can really tire you out and even make you start avoiding these situations altogether.
You experience ringing in your ears
Ringing in your ears is known as tinnitus. It can be a constant ringing sensation or last for short periods after exposure to loud or sudden noises before returning back to normal.
If you notice a ringing in your ears, you should visit an audiologist.
Hearing loss can affect people at any age, but often they don’t really notice until it has progressed or they develop tinnitus, which is difficult to ignore. By being aware of some of the signs, you can visit a professional earlier and be proactive about preserving your hearing. You should have your hearing checked regularly as part of your health and wellbeing goals.