Hearing loss is one of the most common problems affecting people over 65. Often a gradual process, some of the warning signs of hearing loss include speaking louder than necessary, difficulty hearing from a distance and in groups, and asking people to repeat what they have just said.
The causes of hearing loss vary, and can include aging, exposure to too much loud noise, as well as medical conditions such as infections, heart conditions, head injuries, and even certain prescribed medications.
Taking the First Step
If you think you are suffering from hearing loss you should first be checked by a doctor. Your doctor may recommend another medical professional such as an audiologist or otolaryngologist (ear, nose throat specialist) to help evaluate the problem. Fortunately, modern technology offers some effective solutions to help people cope with hearing loss, including:
- Hearing aids you can wear inside or behind your ear
- TV listening systems to help you hear television better
- Telephone and mobile phone amplifying devices that work with your hearing aid
- Personal listening systems that can make it easier for you to hear someone in a crowded room or group setting
Keep in mind that although these new technologies can be highly effective, they cannot restore your hearing to the way it was when you were younger. Many of the devices also take some time to get used to.
Whatever your degree of hearing loss, it’s important not to ignore the problem as it can have adverse affects not only on your life but also on your family and friends. So always get your hearing checked at the first sign of a problem – and be sure not to miss out on the next great conversation.