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The Importance Of Being Tested For Hearing Loss

Woman getting ears checked
Hearing loss isn’t something any of us like to think about. We frequently associate it with age and infirmity, but lifestyle can also have a profound impact on how well our hearing functions. This can lead to situations where hearing loss can crop up without us ever really noticing that anything happened until it is suddenly noticeably difficult to hear. That’s not ideal as we generally want to know we’re experiencing hearing loss before it becomes a pronounced problem. In general, this means making sure that we do our best to both lead a lifestyle that doesn’t contribute to hearing loss and make sure to talk to our doctor when we first get the barest idea that we might be suffering from hearing loss. This can lead to changes made to one’s lifestyle that can improve it going forward despite hearing loss. Not taking this kind of care can have a serious impact on our lives and reduce our overall happiness if we’re not careful. With that in mind, let’s look at how hearing loss can impact you and what to expect from general hearing tests.

Loss Of Enjoyment
Consider how much of your life is tied into your ability to hear. For a most us that’s a fairly high amount of our lives. Music isn’t what we expect without it sounding right and it can be hard to follow our favorite shows or indulge in things like going to a play when you can’t hear quite as well as you need to to get by. This leads a gradual disengagement with the things that give us pleasure. Losing the ability to connect with such things tends to have a pronounced effect on our overall mental health. We need to enjoy ourselves. We need to connect and engage with the world or we feel outside of it and apart in such a way that lends itself to depression and other serious mental illness. This kind of gradual decline is marked in some people unconsciously stepping away from social engagements and situations that would otherwise make them happy as well.

Loss Of Others
Withdrawal from religious gatherings or community societies tends to be another effect of not attending to hearing loss. It is hard to connect with anything that’s going on when you can’t quite hear as well as you expect. The sense of personal shame in having to ask someone to repeat themselves frequently feeds back into our pride to make us unwilling to admit to the problem. We simply leave rather than confronting it. However, we can’t get away from a problem like hearing loss. Our families and friends will keep trying to talk to us and the more we withdraw from our world…well, the more obvious it becomes that something is wrong. This can lead to arguments and general frustration with others simply because we won’t admit to the problem or we don’t understand why there is a problem when people keep repeating themselves. Ultimately, it is best to simply go get a hearing test when it seems like that our hearing may be off.

What To Expect
Hearing tests can end up being a comparatively simple affair depending on your doctor. Some doctors will simply listen to your reported symptom of hearing loss and immediately discuss potential treatment options with you. Anything beyond checking to make sure they are no obstructions will generally involve at least a few basic tests. Many of them are easily performed within a doctor’s office and entail checking your reactions to sound in particular areas of hearing and the specific volume or ranges of sound that give you trouble. More elaborate tests involve you listening for tones playing over a headset to achieve the same results. Figuring out whether it is a generalized hearing loss or difficulty perceiving a particular range of sound will give you and your doctor a path forward. This could involve direct treatment of the issue (if it is caused by anything other than degradation in hearing) to helping you decide on if any technology is suitable for helping to make up for your loss in hearing. Taking the steps to get to this point are an important part of health for all of us.

Hearing loss, whether from damage, age, or illness, isn’t something to ignore. The loss of hearing hurts our lives in many ways if we’re used to hearing things clearly. Most of us will need to deal with a specific level of hearing loss once we reach our late 50s and onward, but there is no sense ignoring potential problems until then. So listen carefully to your world and don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about hearing loss if you think you might be experiencing it for whatever reason.

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