Hearing is our fastest sense – believe it or not! While some may think it is our sense of sight, it actually takes the brain a quarter of a second to process an image. Meanwhile, our brain takes only 0.05 seconds to process sound! If you’ve noticed challenges with your sense of hearing, you may possibly have a hearing loss.
Hearing loss is the third most common health condition in the US, after arthritis and heart disease. The most common causes are the natural process of aging (presbycusis) or exposure to loud noise over extended periods of time. If you’ve been saying “What?” more often than you’d like, read on to learn more about the signs of hearing loss.
Check your TV and radio volume controls: are they set to maximum volume? And still, is it difficult for you to hear when listening to radio shows and watching your favorite TV episodes? Even when the volume is set at max, you may still be able to hear sounds, but they will not be as clear as before. Some people have described the experience of hearing loss as “having cotton in your ears.” Sometimes, your hearing abilities will cut in and out, with some sounds clearer than others.
Speech recognition is the first tell-tale sign of hearing loss. You may find that conversations are difficult because it is difficult to make out what people are saying. Over time, this could lead to miscommunication and awkwardness, and many people who have undiagnosed hearing loss may find themselves avoiding social situations.
In addition to avoiding social situations where conversation is the centerpiece, have you been sitting out on your favorite hobbies and activities? Many people with hearing loss will stop attending movies and live theater performances because they feel as though they are missing out on part of the experience.
Furthermore, undiagnosed hearing loss has been found to isolate people. If you’ve stopped attending your card games or quilting circles inexplicably, it may be due to undiagnosed hearing loss.
Have you found it difficult to follow meetings or calls for your job? For many, due to the taboos around hearing loss, avoiding hearing loss treatment affects your performance on the job. If you find it difficult to communicate with your colleagues or work with a team, it may be due to hearing loss.
Even more, untreated hearing loss affects your cognitive abilities, making it more difficult to be productive and concentrate. It could also affect your memory, which makes high-stress jobs especially difficult.
Because of its interference with our ability to communicate, hearing loss could harm our most precious relationships. Have you been conflicting more frequently with your spouses and loved ones? Hearing loss also affects the ability to hear higher-frequency voices, which makes it difficult for people to hear the voices of children and women. Many studies have found that hearing loss has negative effects on interpersonal relationships. Furthermore, difficulty with communication may lead to avoiding social gatherings, family reunions, and birthday parties, further alienating you from your loved ones.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, it usually takes a person about seven years from the time they first recognize symptoms of hearing loss until they decide to seek treatment. The most important thing you can do, if you believe you have a hearing loss, is to schedule a hearing test with us at Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast.
Treating hearing loss brings significant benefits to your overall health and well-being. People with untreated hearing loss have lower earning power on the job, and are at higher risk for developing dementia, depression, and anxiety. Unfortunately, they are more vulnerable to falls and accidents as well. With a simple hearing test and hearing aid fitting, you could drastically improve your lifestyle.
If you believe you may have a hearing loss, take the first step today. Contact us at Hearing Aid Specialists of the Central Coast to schedule a hearing test and learn more about treatment solutions. We offer state-of-the-art hearing technology that brings life-changing results.