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Hearing loss, especially age related hearing loss (also known as Presbyacusis) is a common condition, perhaps more than you think. If your hearing is impaired you should get the situation examined by your family doctor who would give you a basic hearing test or refer you to a hearing specialist for a more comprehensive hearing test called an audiogram. There are a couple of tell-tale signs which may indicate that your hearing is impaired and that you should seek expert help. Because age related hearing loss may occur over long periods of time making it harder to notice immediately, it is important to know these signs.
What are these tell-tale signs?
Hearing loss doesn't just mean sounds aren’t loud enough. Hearing isn’t only about loudness or the number of decibels. Usually hearing loss has more to do with the frequency or pitch of the sound than its loudness. When typical age-related hearing loss occurs, it’s harder to hear higher frequencies, particularly in background noise situations. If you are asking people to keep repeating their words do you, think back has this always been the situation or has it become more common recently. If you notice that you hear people better when they face you, even in a quiet environment that might be another sign. If you are finding yourself having to increase the sound on the TV (again compared to days gone by) in order to hear it might be a sign that your hearing is impaired. Other signs are more individual and depend on your lifestyle.
What can you do?
In addition to seeking medical help, you may also try a few techniques to help you cope with the situation better. For example, reduce or eliminate background noises, like a radio or television. You might also wish to consider trying a hearing aid. Many people are put off by the external appearance of a hearing aids and are concerned at how others might view them when wearing such an aid. While it’s true that hearing instruments don’t enjoy quite the fashion status of a pair of glasses, new technology has made these devices discreet. Many people can wear instruments that are either tucked well inside the ear or small behind-the-ear units that can be disguised by hairstyles.
Article by James Lorry