Know The Signs: Do You Have Hearing Loss?

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Mango Health

Hearing loss sneaks up on you gradually, making the signs easy to miss. You might first notice that it’s harder to hear in restaurants and other loud settings. You might ask people to repeat themselves more often or feel like the TV sounds garbled. Hearing health advocate Shari Eberts shares some important warning signs you should know.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

I first noticed my hearing loss in graduate school. Students would make comments in class and sometimes I couldn’t hear them. Looking around the room at everyone laughing at a joke I missed, I felt left out and afraid. Given my genetics — my father and grandmother both had adult onset hearing loss — I knew it was time for a hearing test.

Many people do not recognize the signs and act so quickly. According to audiologists, it takes most people seven to 10 years to seek treatment after first suspecting that they have a hearing problem. This delay can be serious since hearing loss is associated with many health problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a higher incidence of dementia. It is also highly linked to isolation and depression.

Take a look at the list below. If any of these scenarios feel familiar to you, it might be time for a hearing test.

1. Noisy environments make it more difficult for you to hear. Restaurants, cocktail parties, and other social venues have become challenging listening situations. You are unable to follow the conversation over the clinking of cutlery or background music. The same may be true for extracting movie dialogue from the soundtrack special effects.

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Does Hearing Loss Make It Harder To Remember Things?

Do you sometimes meet a new person but forget his or her name almost immediately or hear the specials at a restaurant only to have trouble recalling them when it is time to order? And forget about directions — was that two lefts and a right or two rights and then a left? This happens to me quite a bit. If I read something or hear it and immediately write it down, I do better, but if I hear something in the absence of other stimuli or activity, I have a harder time remembering it. Now I know why.

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Do You Know Your Hearing Loss Facts?

People are often surprised how common hearing loss is — 360 million people worldwide which includes almost 50 million in the United States alone. Hearing loss is not only for the old, but now impacts 1 in 5 teenagers and 60% of returning soldiers. It is associated with dangerous health conditions such as dementia, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Hearing loss is a tremendous and growing health crisis. Be sure you know the facts so you can help educate others.

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Is There Finally Proof That Wearing Hearing Devices Benefits Cognitive Function?

I am always interested in new research studies published in the hearing space and recently I came across an exciting one. I have written before about the increased risk of dementia associated with hearing loss (here and here) and linked to previous research studies that demonstrate this connection. But the question of whether utilizing hearing devices could lessen these risks was never addressed, until now.

A new study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society concludes, “Self-reported hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older adults; hearing aid use attenuates such decline.” In other words, hearing aid use seemed to help prevent accelerated cognitive decline.

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5 Signs You Might Have A Hearing Loss

People often ask me, “How did you know you had a hearing loss?” and it is a harder question to answer than you might expect. Hearing loss often sneaks up on you gradually so the signs are easy to miss. It may seem that everyone has simultaneously decided to start mumbling. Or you no longer hear the punch line of jokes. Or you miss important details in meetings. Or you start to avoid socializing or other activities that you like for fear of not being able to participate fully. If some of these things ring true, it is probably time for a hearing test.

Click here to read my recent article in Healthy Living Magazine where I describe Five Signs You Might Have A Hearing Loss.

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