Identifying Hearing Loss
Do you have trouble hearing or comprehending what others say? Are you experiencing ringing in your ears? Have you been exposed to heavy noise on the job? These are among the symptoms and causes of hearing loss and, sadly, people often suffer with these and other symptoms for years before seeking help.
Some signs indicating you may have a hearing loss
- You have trouble following conversation in noisy places, among a group of people or when background noise is present.
- You feel people mumble.
- You hear better in one ear than the other.
- You have difficulty hearing the television when others do not.
- You experience ringing in your ears.
- You avoid social situations to avoid communicating with others because you have problems hearing them.
- You have a history of noise exposure, whether it be on the job or elsewhere.
If you experience any of the symptoms that appear above, visit an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or an audiologist. Hearing aids can improve some hearing losses; other hearing losses are too mild to warrant hearing devices but damaging enough to cause impairment. In such cases, the patient should still seek assistance from a professional to discuss communication strategies and other steps to take to improve quality of life. If hearing aids are not the answer, your doctor will determine your treatment based on the severity of your hearing loss as well as its cause.
Hearing impaired need support
If left untreated, hearing loss can be debilitating to both the patient as well as his or her family. Those with normal hearing often take for granted the ease in which we hear and communicate–one-on-one, through cell phones, or by listening to the radio. It’s easy to become frustrated with a family member suffering with hearing loss simply because it’s hard for a person with normal hearing to understand the problem and resulting difficulties it presents.
Patience, compassion and a willingness to help treat the problem are crucial in situations like this. These qualities also are important during and after treatment. Hearing aids, for instance, can interfere with cell phone use, while some hearing devices are not adaptable with phone use at all. In any case, tolerance and understanding is critical. Those suffering with hearing loss have plenty of emotional and psychological adjustments to make without having the added worry of upsetting or frustrating family members or friends.