If you think your hearing capacity is fading, this can be a scary thing. However, more often than not, there is a clear cause and solution path to explore with a care provider. The first step will be engaging with what’s happening and exploring all of your options. So if you have noticed that you’re just not hearing the same as you used to, then it’s time to take action, and here are seven ideas to get you started.
Check Your Symptoms
When it comes to hearing loss, there are multiple symptoms to consider. Your experience is bound to be different from another person’s, and therefore figuring out the specific needs and problems is essential when it comes to accessing the correct care intervention. Make a list of what’s bothering you and categorize it from the most severe to the least. This list should contain everything that you’ve noticed as a cause for concern. Typical hearing loss symptoms include:
- Needing to turn the volume up higher on the TV or music player.
- Asking people to repeat themselves more often.
- Not following conversations.
- Sounds are muffled or inaudible.
- Struggling with busy environments where there is lots of noise and sound to navigate.
- Ringing sounds in your ears.
- A feeling of blocked ears.
Take note of every single time that you struggle with your hearing and make sure you write down the triggers such as loud environment or quiet voices.
Taking an Online Test
When you have a list of your symptoms perfected, you can take the next step of exploring an online hearing test like this one here, phonak.com/en-us/online-hearing-test. Usually, you will need a good pair of headphones and a quiet environment to get the most accurate picture of your hearing health. These tools are useful as a starting point, and to confirm whether or not your hearing loss is an actual point of concern. They don’t, of course, give you a professional diagnosis because they require input from a trained audiologist. What they do give you, is a starting point to work from. Finding a solution is the ultimate aim, so you might as well equip yourself with all the tools you need to get there.
Talking To Your Doctor
This information will make you feel more confident when you talk to your doctor, which is a good first place to start the investigation. Your doctor will want to rule out the possibility that there is nothing else going on in your physical self, such as high blood pressure or a range of other conditions that can affect hearing. It may just be a case that you are getting older, as there is a natural decline in our ability to hear as we age. However, this simple answer is not always the end of the story, and any loss of hearing needs an answer. It is also worth noting that there are certain cases where hearing loss is considered a more urgent problem. For instance, if you become suddenly deaf in one or both ears, this requires immediate medical attention so head on over to your nearest emergency department. Sudden hearing loss is usually temporary, unless you have suffered an injury to the ear, and you need to get it checked out straight away.
Booking an Audiologist Appointment
Your doctor may recommend further investigations. This will be with an expert audiologist, but the option of going private is also a great one to explore. Private clinics typically have shorter waiting times for actually getting a first appointment and essential assessment out of the way. They can also provide better care options and enhanced care pathways to help you get back to being better more quickly.
Adjusting Your Lifestyle
There are a few different things you can try when it comes to adjusting your lifestyle to your hearing problems. Firstly, taking the time to protect your ears from potential harm, and secondly, opting for quieter surroundings wherever possible.
Protecting Your Ears
Sometimes, when people are finding it hard to hear things, they turn the volume up too loud. This can cause severe, irreplaceable damage, and even exacerbate or bring on further complications. So, while it may feel counterproductive, try to avoid exposing your ears to too much loud noise because the damage potential is not worth the risk. Try instead, making your environment quieter when you are trying to hear things and giving yourself the space to really concentrate when necessary.
Avoiding Noisy Places
Noisy places are the worst places to be when you are running on a hearing deficit. If you can avoid them, you absolutely should for your mental health and the sake of your ears. It can be that much more difficult to hold a conversation or even form a thought if there is too much noise happening all at once, and none of it is discernible. Suggest that you meet a friend at one of your houses instead of going to a popular coffee shop, for instance, and not only will you feel more comfortable but there is also less chance that you become overwhelmed and anxious.
Talking To Your Close Friends and Family About It
While you may feel embarrassed, finding a way to discuss your hearing symptoms with your family and friends is a great way to ensure you do not become socially isolated. Dealing with debilitating medical conditions is often isolating, so having proper support in place is essential. Sharing the concerns with someone will not only make you feel more confident about doing something about it but it will make social time more accessible too.
Dealing with potential hearing loss is not an easy thing to navigate. You need to know what you’re up against and the possible reasons behind your symptoms. Keep track of when you’re struggling the most, and what the most prevalent symptoms seem to be, then book a professional appointment in the diary as soon as possible. There is no sense in delaying treatment, and the quicker you deal with it, the faster the resolution will come.