If you suspect you may have hearing loss, it’s important to seek treatment right away for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people put off wearing hearing aids because they feel they’ll make them look “old.” But the truth is, hearing loss can affect anybody, no matter what age you are, and there’s no shame in getting help.
Facts About Hearing Loss
According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world population (432 million adults and 34 million children) have disabling hearing loss that requires rehabilitation. By the year 2050, this number is expected to reach 10% (700 million people).
In addition, over 1 billion young people are at risk of permanent hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices, particularly through headphones and earbuds.
How to Protect Your Ears
Below are some ways you can work to protect your hearing:
- When listening to music through headphones or earbuds, follow the 60:60 rule. This rule states that you should listen at no more than 60% of the device’s maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time.
- Wear earplugs or earmuffs to noisy events. If you’re planning to attend a concert at The Glow Plaza or a firework show, make sure to pack hearing protection.
- Follow OSHA guidelines at work. If you work in a noisy profession, be sure to wear hearing protection as directed by OSHA. Even sounds at 85 dB – the volume of passing highway traffic – can cause damage with enough exposure.
When to Get a Hearing Test
If you suspect you may have hearing loss, it’s important to schedule a hearing test right away. If you’re unsure, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I turn up the TV louder than others prefer?
- Do I feel that people mumble constantly?
- Do I constantly ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do I have trouble talking on the phone?
- Do I have a hard time following conversations in noisy environments?
- Do I turn my “good ear” toward my conversation partner?
- Do I feel exhausted after social events?
- Does my family tell me I have hearing loss?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s time to call an audiologist.
What If I Already Have Diagnosed Hearing Loss?
If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, it’s important to visit your audiologist annually to monitor changes in your hearing. If your hearing loss has progressed, your audiologist can reprogram your hearing aids or recommend a model that will better suit you.
It’s also important to bring your devices in for clean and check appointments every six months to ensure they stay in proper working order. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call LeMay Hearing & Balance today.