Hearing loss can be recognized by these signs

Hearing loss is often a gradual process. People in the environment sometimes realize that someone is having trouble hearing before them. You can recognize him by these signs. With yourself or with someone you love.

slow process

From the age of 30, hearing gradually deteriorates. The brain is constantly adapting to the situation, which means that it can go unnoticed for a long time. In addition, many people find it difficult to admit that their hearing has deteriorated. The medical term for hearing loss due to aging is deafness. The age at which it begins varies and is partly hereditary. Below we discuss some common signs of hearing loss.

Difficulty following conversation

Hearing loss makes it more difficult to follow a conversation. What exactly is said is not clear. It’s hard to understand everything, especially in a noisy environment. For example when several people are talking at the same time or when background noise can be heard, for example from music. As a result, people with poor hearing begin to speak louder, they no longer dare to hold a telephone conversation, turn up the volume of the TV or radio.

Sounds are tested differently

The fact that you hear some sounds just fine, while others sound too weak or too loud, has something to do with the frequencies. Frequency is the number of vibrations per second, expressed in hertz. Humans hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 Hz. The degree of hearing loss can vary at each frequency. In the case of hearing impairment due to age, sounds and tones with especially high pitches become less audible. Loud noises can even be experienced as annoying.

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Noise

Hearing loss can accompany ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Additional sounds, such as whistling, rustling, or humming, may be heard.

Poor localization of sounds

With hearing loss, it is sometimes difficult to estimate where the sounds come from. This is not only difficult, for example in traffic it can also lead to dangerous situations.

fatigue and isolation

Since listening requires more effort and focus, hearing loss can cause fatigue. There can also be frustration or stress. It can cause problems at work and when you prefer to avoid situations, such as a party.

Time to get an earphone?

Hearing loss due to old age is irreversible. It is impossible to predict how much your hearing will deteriorate. There is not much that can be done to influence this. However, you can ensure that you get enough rest and do not suffer further damage, for example by protecting your hearing from noise. There are also indications that smoking increases the risk of hearing loss. If you’re dealing with one or more of the symptoms we describe above, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether a hearing test or a hearing aid might be an option for you.

Hearing aids can improve quality of life. Sold and modified by a hearing care professional. At age 67, you can also see a hearing care professional without a referral from a general practitioner or ENT specialist. Your general practitioner or hearing care professional can also refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist or a hearing center if necessary, if certain adjustments to your hearing aid are needed. An otolaryngologist or audiologist can measure your hearing very accurately and then provide your hearing care professional with advice. You can also contact your hearing care professional for other aids, such as a wake-up and warning system or a phone with an amplifier.

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Other causes of (temporary) hearing loss

Not only does aging lead to poor hearing, but there are other things that can also have an effect, such as the common cold, ear blockage due to earwax, ear infections, ruptured eardrums, noise, bone calcification, some medications and genetics. .

(Source: Thuisarts, Beter Horen, ENT Medical Center, Schoonenberg. Photo: Shutterstock)

Megan Vasquez

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