Are you experiencing some of these signs of hearing loss? At age 65, one in three people have hearing loss!
- Sounds are loud but not clear, people may seem to be mumbling or talking too quickly.
- You have trouble hearing when there is noise around you, like in a restaurant.
- People you live with tell you the television is “too loud” or that you speak too loudly or softly.
- You avoid social situations. They make you anxious or tired because you cannot understand.
- Others notice you seem confused, depressed or your personality has changed. Because hearing loss is invisible, we notice effects but don’t always think that hearing loss could be the cause.
If you suspect hearing loss, what should you do? First, see your family physician to check for wax in ear canals, infection or some other treatable condition. If that is not successful, arrange for a hearing test with an audiologist.
Audiologists, while not medical doctors, have a specialized graduate degree and training to evaluate hearing loss, fit hearing aids and help individuals with hearing loss.
If you need a hearing aid, do your research. Hearing aids can be a difficult product to buy and they can be expensive. It may take some time to be properly fitted and comfortable with a device so be patient.
We’ve put together some reputable resources for you about hearing loss.
AARP’s Hearing Center has a range of information, including a free telephone hearing test for AARP members and tips on how to pick the best hearing device for you. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/hearing-resource-center/
Consumer Reports Hearing Aid Buying Guide https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/hearing-aids/buying-guide/index.htm
The Hearing Loss Association of America, an organization representing people with hearing loss. http://www.hearingloss.org/content/understanding-hearing-loss