When Should I Start Paying Attention to Hearing Health?As the third most common medical condition in the US, approximately 48 million Americans experience some form of hearing loss. Approximately 60% of the workforce experiences some degree of hearing loss, as well as 60% of veterans returning from combat zones. While hearing loss affects people of all ages, it is most commonly found among populations of older Americans: one in three people age 65 or older and 50% of people age 75 or older experience some degree of hearing loss. Because hearing loss is most prevalent among older Americans, we recommend that people commit to an annual hearing test at the age of 50. While most young people undergo hearing tests as a part of physical exams for school, many of us stop the practice when we turn 18 and graduate from high school. For younger Americans, hearing loss rates are rising due to exposure to loud noise, particularly through the use of earbuds. If you are under the age of 50 and are concerned about your hearing health, by all means, schedule an annual hearing exam with us at one of our Ear to Hear locations in Florida. Hearing loss is not a self-diagnosable condition. While people may begin to notice changes in their hearing, the exact type, degree, and configuration of hearing loss is only diagnosable by a hearing health professional through a hearing exam. But before you decide to take a hearing exam, how do you recognize the signs of hearing loss?
Common Signs of Hearing LossAccording to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), if you answer yes to the following questions, you may be experiencing a hearing loss. Do you:
- Often ask people to repeat what they say?
- Have trouble hearing in groups?
- Think others mumble?
- Fail to hear someone talking from behind you?
- Turn up the volume on the TV or car radio?
- Have difficulty on the phone?
- Have trouble hearing your alarm clock?
- Have difficulty hearing at the movies
- Dread going to noisy parties and restaurants?
- Embarrassed to talk openly about not being able to hear?
- Cutting out activities that you used to love but have become painful because you cannot join in fully anymore?
- Afraid to reveal your hearing loss at work in case it jeopardizes your job and your supervisor and coworkers may see you as less competent?
- Bluffing when out with friends in noisy restaurants?
- Feeling cut off from your young children because you cannot hear their high-pitched voices?
- Feeling strained at family events because so many people are talking at once?