Hearing Loss: Prevent What You Can, Treat What You Can’t

Hearing loss can result from several factors. These factors include normal aging, exposure to recurring loud noises, disease, and even some medications can cause hearing loss. Although hearing loss does not sound serious, it can have a serious impact on one’s quality of life and relationships as well as one’s mental well-being.

Doctors classify hearing loss in four major categories: mild, moderate, severe, and profound. Mild hearing loss has minimal symptoms and can be barely perceptible, such as a slight difficulty in hearing conversations when there is any kind of background noise. Moderate hearing loss is a little more noticeable, this can result in having to ask people repeat themselves, even when there is little to no background noise. Severe hearing loss means that following conversations is nearly impossible; one can still hear loud noises, but anything within a normal range would be extremely difficult without a hearing aid. Profound hearing loss is the loss of basically all hearing, making it impossible to distinguish sounds without the assistance of a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

Studies show that nearly one in every three elderly Americans suffer from age related hearing loss. This type of hearing loss can be hard to notice at first because it takes place gradually, often without the sufferer even noticing. They may think that people are mumbling more or that others just need to speak up instead of admitting that hearing loss may be the problem. This denial of hearing loss can lead to strained personal relationships, stress, and even the feeling of being cut off from others do to a lack of quality communication.

Another common cause of hearing loss is excessive noise; most people think of rock concerts and jackhammers when they think of excessive noise, but noises that are powerful enough to cause hearing damage are lot more common. Traffic, vacuum cleaners, and construction equipment are all things that people encounter daily that can cause hearing damage. Those who work in factories are particularly prone to noise damage, causing many companies to implement protective sound barriers in an attempt to help employees protect their hearing.

Getting regular hearing screenings, once every three to five years, is a good way to catch hearing loss early so that it does not have a chance to negatively influence one’s quality of life. Doctors recommend that adults as young as 18 should have a hearing screening, even if there is no evidence of hearing loss. This initial screening can give the doctor a baseline to which they can compare future screenings. A simple online search for hearing loss in one’s hometown, such as hearing loss layton ut can bring up a multitude of information and local practitioners who can perform hearing screenings.

Not all hearing loss is avoidable, such as the damage that can be caused by sickness, injury, or aging, but some damage is avoidable. Wearing earplugs during concerts or other loud events, turning down the music during the daily commute, or even plugging one’s ears when passing a loud construction site are all things a person can do to preserve their hearing. For the hearing loss that is not avoidable, regular hearing screenings can help to catch the symptoms early and give sufferers the chance to take preventative action before the loss is great enough to affect their quality of life. Hearing can be one of a person’s most important natural assets and should be treated as such. Being conscious of and protecting against excessive noise and getting regular hearing screenings are the best ways to protect that asset.