Although tens of millions of Americans have some form of hearing loss, discovering hearing loss is still a widely misunderstood experience. Unlike other physical changes in a person’s body, the changes that occur with hearing loss can be subtle. So subtle that discovering hearing loss can be compared to noticing a loss of something that you weren’t even aware was missing.
There are some individuals whose work requires them to be hyper aware of sound. For example musicians and those who work with music, like George Martin. In the video below he describes how he first realized he had fluctuations in his hearing.
Unlike George most of us aren’t going to have a visual representation of hearing loss evident in our day-to-day life. If George hadn’t had this particular experience, even though he worked in and around music and music technology every day, he might’ve continued as he was oblivious to the fluctuations in his hearing. So how can the average person begin to recognize and care for any alterations in their hearing?
The most important thing to do is to make a regular visit to the audiologist or other hearing health professional. Having your hearing checked on a regular basis could save you a lifetime of guessing. When your hearing levels are checked regularly it becomes easier for an audiologist to notice a change in your hearing—just as an ophthalmologist can recognize and compensate for eyesight changes.
In addition to regular hearing checkups, individuals need to become aware of when they dismiss their inability to hear sounds. If you raise the volume on the television, and blame the program for the shift in sound, that is a signal. If you can’t hear a conversation in a restaurant or social event, don’t dismiss this as room acoustics. If you have a problem hearing the voices of women or children, don’t assume that they are talking low or mumbling. If you often ask to have things repeated, this is another signal that your hearing might be fluctuating.
If you'd like to learn more about changes in hearing and what options are available to compensate for these changes, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!