If you watch any TV, you’ll see plenty of people laughing about an older person who can’t hear well, but in reality, hearing loss is no laughing matter. The truth is, as you age, your hearing capacity can diminish, so you will want to watch for the first signs of hearing loss and let your doctor know right away before it becomes a significant issue.
Hearing Loss Signs to Watch For
Hearing loss happens gradually, so it can seem to sneak up on you without warning. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your hearing and the first signs of hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss affects 25% of seniors between the ages of 55 and 64, and 50% of those 65 and older.
As you age, you may notice some of the following symptoms including:
- Finding you need to turn up the sound on your radio or TV
- Speech beginning to sound muffled
- Having a tough time hearing consonants
- Background noise interfering with you understanding certain words
- Often having to ask people to repeat what they have said
- Avoiding conversations or social situations
If you find you have one or more of these symptoms, it is best to ask your doctor for a hearing test. This can help determine the cause of your hearing loss as well as the right course of treatment.
Most Common Age of Hearing Loss
While it is possible to start losing your hearing when you’re young, you might be wondering at what age do most men and women begin experiencing hearing loss. Typically, you’ll find that both men and women start to lose their hearing between the ages of 65 and 74.
The loss is due in part to damage to the hair cells in your ears. These hair cells can also start to disappear as you age. In a younger person, these cells pick up sound waves and then convert them into nerve signals. Your brain then interprets them as sounds that you understand.
The bottom line is, if you’re over 65 and you’ve ever wondered, “Am I losing my hearing?,” chances are your hearing has diminished.
Heading Loss on One Side
Can you be deaf in one ear? The answer is yes. This is known as unilateral deafness, but the causes are not connected to age. Instead, signs you are going deaf in one ear are normally due to an injury, an illness, or some sort of blockage in your ear.
While a certain amount of hearing loss is to be expected as you age, don’t just live with it. A hearing test is your first line of defense. Doctors recommend one hearing test each year when you reach age 55. This will allow your doctor to determine if you have any issues and what can be done about them in a timely manner.
Being able to hear those you love and what is going on around you is a gift and one you don’t want to take for granted. Pay attention to the early signs of hearing loss to protect your hearing for as long as possible.