You know you’re feeling cranky these days but not exactly sure why. Well, you did feel left out earlier today when no one bothered to bring you into the meeting discussion at the office and that was irritating. Last night your daughter seemed annoyed with you when you asked to turn the tv volume up over and over again resulting in her abruptly leaving the house. Why would she do that?
Did you ever stop to think that maybe you could be suffering from hearing loss?
Hearing loss is a problem for roughly 40 million people in the US and can sneak up on you with age. And, the problem doesn’t end at your ears, either. Research shows that even mild hearing loss puts you at risk for memory problems, dementia, and even depression. What you may think is just a sign of age, may actually be a treatable medical problem. Maybe your co-workers didn’t leave you out of the conversation after all, maybe you missed crucial conversational queues because you couldn’t hear them. The truth is, if you can’t hear properly during your day to day life, it can become incredibly frustrating.
Learn more about hearing loss
Finding out a little more about what you’re dealing with is a practical place to start. For many individuals, hearing loss is a natural side effect of getting older. But for others it may be due to years of noise overexposure. Everything from the music you listened to when you were 16, to driving with the window down in traffic, to mowing lawns and cleaning up leaves with that noisy leaf blower could contribute to a loss of hearing. The world is full of potentially ear-damaging noise that can erode the delicate mechanisms that help you hear.
Chronic diseases that become more common with age are a possible factor, as well. High blood pressure, for example, or diabetes can both interfere with blood flow, which causes damage to the inner ear.
Recognize the signs
People usually take their hearing for granted, so when it starts to fail they don’t recognize the signs:
- Struggling to understand words when there is background noise like running water, a fan, or the AC
- You’re always asking people to repeat themselves or even worse, saying ‘what’ a lot
- You always feel like you are being left out of the conversation
If you recognize any of these hearing loss signs, its no wonder you’re cranky! Feeling detached from your world can cause depression and even social isolation.
Develop a plan to manage hearing loss
Start by asking a family member or loved one if they notice you struggling to keep up with conversations or if you say ‘What?’ a little too often. It may seem like a difficult discussion but its a very important one. If the answer is ‘yes’ then scheduling a hearing exam should be your next move and will clarify things for you. Ask your loved one to accompany you to your appointment. A supportive, calming presence can be most helpful.
Your hearing test will not only help to confirm your hearing loss but it also gauges the extent of it. If hearing loss is determined, a qualified hearing specialist will recommend the next course of action for you based on the results of the test. In most cases, that will involve getting hearing aids. Don’t worry, there are so many options and features that you’re sure to find hearing aids that fit your lifestyle!
How to choose quality hearing aids
Your hearing professional will have recommendations that will be best suited for your unique type of hearing loss. Take some to time find the right brand and model for your needs, this may require testing a few styles and devices out. Today’s hearing aids do so much more than just amplify sound. They can block out background noises, connect to smartphones and computers and, even pinpoint the direction of a sound. Different styles and types of hearing aids come with different features, so research them to find out what features you need to improve your life.
Consider the style you want for your hearing aids, too. They come in many fashionable colors or with no color at all, so they are practically invisible.
If you think you’re suffering from hearing loss, schedule an appointment with a qualified hearing specialist near you today. Don’t you think its time to find out and end your cranky state of mind?