One of the most horrifying things to think about is losing your hearing. More traumatic situations and experiences surely exist, but hearing loss is a nagging difficulty that will severely affect your quality of life.
This is why you need to quickly seek treatment should you ever suspect that your hearing is impaired. Delaying help can worsen your situation and put you through challenges that make even the most basic of tasks difficult.
While addressing your reduced hearing is certainly a priority, there are several other things you should do when you fear that you’re suffering from hearing loss. Going through this process is important to assess the damage and prevent it from getting any worse.
To help you understand what to do, we’ll explain the steps you should take below if you think that you’re experiencing hearing loss.
Check for Warning Signs
The first thing you should do is check for any warning signs of hearing loss.
If you think that you’re experiencing hearing loss, then it’s probably because you noticed that you’re having a hard time hearing things. This is one of the most obvious warning signs and it varies in severity depending on how bad your hearing loss is.
With fairly minor hearing loss, it’ll sound like everything is a little muffled. Alternatively, serious hearing loss entails difficulty distinguishing between individual words and noises.
A few ways you might notice this include having the volume on your TV, car stereo, and computer speakers on high, constantly asking people to repeat themselves and feeling tired after being in social situations.
The easiest way to detect hearing loss is by having a conversation and seeing how easy it is for you to follow along. If you struggle to listen without reading lips, asking for clarification or straining to hear, then hearing loss may be a factor.
Evaluate Risk Factors
Next, you should evaluate if you have any risk factors.
This requires you to look at your situation and see if you check any boxes that make you more likely to become hard of hearing. Anyone can experience hearing loss, but it is more likely to impact certain groups of people.
The main risk factors to check for include being older, working in a loud environment, having a history of hearing loss in your family, and being on medication.
There’s also the important risk factor of being exposed to a loud noise. For example, if you’re right next to a gunshot without ear protection then this might be a traumatic incident that causes hearing loss.
Check to see if you have any of these risk factors. If you do, then you’ll want to move onto the next step.
Limit Further Exposure
It’s also important that you limit any further exposure to loud sounds.
If you’re showing signs of hearing loss and have risk factors for it, then you don’t want to do anything that might make it worse. After being exposed to a loud gunshot, you don’t want to be blasting music through headphones.
The biggest issue with hearing loss is that it can’t be reversed. This means that you’ll always be a little hard of hearing as the ear cells will not grow back.
Because of this, you want to make sure you’re limiting whatever may have caused it. Perhaps you’ve been working in a loud environment with inadequate ear protection. Whatever the case may be, you’ll want to bolster it.
Wear earplugs and earmuffs. Turn the volume down on all of your devices and turn on subtitles. Don’t go to loud, crowded events.
This will also help you identify what might have caused your hearing issues. You’ll want to know this when you go and speak to a professional.
Visit an Audiologist
If you’re convinced that hearing loss is a possibility, then you’ll need to visit an audiologist.
An audiologist is the medical professional who specifically works with hearing loss. This means they’re the best resource you have to evaluate your ailment.
When you visit an audiologist, they’ll run tests on you to see how bad your hearing loss is. This includes a physical examination, questionnaire, and audio test.
With this information, they’ll evaluate the extent of your hearing loss. They can tell you whether it’s temporary and caused by an illness or if it’s permanent and you’ll need to find a solution for it.
You can check for warning signs and evaluate risk factors all you’d like, but it isn’t addressing the situation. If you genuinely want to tackle your hearing loss, then you need to visit an audiologist and get a professional opinion.
Prevention and Treatment
As a final consideration, you’ll want to think about prevention and treatment going forward.
If you do discover that you have hearing loss, then treatment will be your course of action. While it can’t be cured, you can use devices like hearing aids and hearing amplifiers to improve your ability to hear.
The treatment method that works best for you will depend on your unique situation and what part of your ear is impacted. An audiologist can determine this and point you toward the best treatment option.
The sooner that you seek treatment, the sooner that your life can improve. This means an easier time having conversations, hearing your favorite shows and music, and enjoying the peaceful sounds of nature.
On the other hand, if your hearing loss is temporary, then you should be thinking about prevention. This means reducing the amount of time you spend in loud situations and limiting your exposure to loud sounds.
A large chunk of the population experiences hearing loss at some point in their life, so it can certainly happen to you. Improve your odds of avoiding it by using proper ear protection whenever it’s necessary!
Hearing loss is a serious matter that you’ll need to address immediately should you suspect that you’re experiencing it. Anyone can have their hearing impaired and there’s a great chance it won’t be restored.
Because of this, you’ll want to know what to do if you’re worried that your hearing is impaired. This includes checking for warning signs, evaluating your risk factors, limiting further exposure to loud sounds, visiting an audiologist, and seeking treatment or prevention.
While you can’t fix hearing loss, solutions exist that will make your life much better. Be diligent about acting on your situation and get the treatment that makes it easier for you to enjoy the sounds you once loved!