When should I see a hearing care professional?

When should I see a hearing care professional?

by Manish Singh

Hearing problems do not only affect the elderly. Nowadays, even young people suffer from hearing loss more and more often, which results, among other things, from the widespread use of headphones while playing computer games or listening to music. Therefore, when you need to turn up the volume to really hear well, or you have trouble understanding speech, it’s a sign of necessity to book an appointment with a hearing care professional. There is no point in delaying it because the defect will start to get worse.

Disturbing signs of hearing impairment

These days are not the best for hearing hygiene. In fact, people spend hours exposed to excessive noise daily. The damaging limits of 85 dB are really easy to exceed, since in rush hours on the streets, there is even 110 dB, and loud music or a working lawnmower is as much as 120 dB. One-time exceeding the standards is not necessarily associated with hearing loss. Still, long-lasting and repeated noise, unfortunately, results in microscopic injuries of the ossicles, which are located in the inner ear. Because of this, the bones begin to overgrow with additional cartilage, which makes it difficult for them to move freely – and the sound wave must reach the brain. This is how hearing loss gradually comes about.

That’s not all, because some toxins in food and air also have a negative effect on hearing. First of all, they are heavy metals, harmful substances in nicotine smoke, and smog. Another issue is the abnormalities in the treatment of ear diseases, but also pharyngitis, laryngitis, and sinusitis. Bacterial and fungal infections resulting from insufficient ear hygiene are also unfavorable. In addition, even hypertension and cardiovascular disease contribute to progressive hearing loss. This happens when the vessels that carry blood to the brain contract, and the ear canals in the inner ear stiffen. It is also worth remembering to test hearing after head injuries, meningitis, or when taking certain medications.

The hearing test is the first step

The beginnings of hearing loss are easy to ignore, and the worry should be caused by worse hearing of high tones, such as a phone or a kettle whistle. Only later do problems with understanding speech appear. As a rule, people around us first know that someone is hard of hearing because they are annoyed by the increasing volume of the TV or music. Moreover, they notice an increasingly frequent request to repeat what has been said. At the same time, the words spoken by a person with hearing loss become louder than before.

In such situation, it is worth carrying out a hearing test that will show the extent of the problem. You can do it even in the comfort of your own home, as these types of tests are available online on the websites of hearing care professionals. When the problems turn out to be really serious, you will need to see a specialist who will conduct specific tests to assess the degree of hearing loss. Finally, they will choose the right hearing aid.

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