Have you found yourself nodding along with conversations you are struggling to follow because you’re too embarrassed to ask someone to repeat themselves? Or maybe your spouse keeps asking why you have the volume on the television unusually loud. Do you have a “good ear” and a “bad ear”? Social situations that used to be fun are now frustrating and stressful. If you’re honest with yourself, maybe you know your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
If any of these scenarios sound familiar, it’s time to have your hearing checked. People too often ignore or dismiss hearing loss, assuming it’s part of aging and that nothing can be done about it. Or maybe it’s a stigma about using a hearing aid that’s preventing you from seeking solutions.
However, untreated hearing loss is not merely inconvenient. It can lead to social isolation, depression, frustration in relationships, and decreased job performance.
Signs You Need Your Hearing Checked
Your ear consists of three main parts with three functions: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. In a healthy ear, these three parts work together to translate vibrations into electrical signals that the brain can interpret and understand. Sound can be distorted or lost anywhere along this path, affecting your hearing.
Hearing damage can be caused suddenly by an injury or stroke. However, more commonly, hearing loss is gradual, and causes include: aging, exposure to loud noises over time, ear wax, medications (including large amounts of aspirin), hereditary factors, tinnitus, Meniere’s disease (which affects the inner ear), or a middle ear disease called otosclerosis.
Hearing loss can begin in one or both ears, and symptoms include:
- Muffled speech or other sounds
- An inability to distinguish between similar-sounding words or constants
- Loss of very high or very low pitch
- Turning up music or the television to an abnormally loud volume
- Trouble understanding words in a crowd or in the presence of background noise
- Asking others to repeat themselves or to speak more clearly and loudly
- Withdrawing socially or avoiding conversations due to frustrations around communication.
Help for Hearing Loss
The reality is there are treatments available that may improve your hearing—as well as your communication, self-esteem, and enjoyment of social situations.
You may benefit from surgery, medication, or hearing aids to help you hear better. Not your grandmother’s hearing aids, today’s devices come in a variety of styles depending on your needs. They are also smaller and more discreet than ever, whether hidden in the ear canal, cordless, or mounted on a pair of glasses.
Why waste another day settling for poor hearing that may be improved? Take our free three-minute online screening to determine how well you’re hearing. We’ll send you your results and let you know your options accordingly. If you’d like to make an in-person appointment with Dr. Rande Lazar and his team to have your hearing evaluated, call us at 901-821-4300, or book an appointment here on our website.