Hearing problems in Reno aren’t always easy to recognize. 48 million people throughout the United States experience hearing loss, but many aren’t even aware of their condition. That’s because in most cases hearing loss develops gradually, and the brain adjusts to the impairment automatically. It often takes a friend or loved one to clue you in.
Hearing Loss Symptoms
Hearing loss is the third most common physical condition in the U.S., behind arthritis and heart disease. It can negatively impact your physical, social, and psychological health; affect your job performance and salary; and cause friction in your relationships. Diagnosing hearing loss early is the best way to prevent many of these side effects, but that’s easier said than done.
Unless you’ve suffered trauma to the head or been exposed to a sudden, loud noise, chances are you won’t even notice a change in your hearing at first. When the tiny hair cells in your inner ear are damaged – this can result from the natural aging process, noise exposure, disease, ototoxic medications, and other factors – you’ll begin to have trouble hearing high-frequency sounds. Your brain adapts to hearing damage in this range by channeling resources from other areas to compensate for your loss. You might not become aware of this until your hearing loss progresses; statistics show that it takes the average citizen in Reno with hearing loss seven years to seek treatment. By then, options are limited. The sooner you detect hearing loss, the better your chances of finding an effective treatment solution and preventing further damage.
The following are signs that you might be experiencing hearing loss.
- People mumble when they speak.
- You frequently ask others to repeat themselves.
- You experience tinnitus (ringing in your ears).
- Others complain about the volume when you watch TV or listen to music.
- You miss everyday household sounds, such as a ringing doorbell.
- You have trouble following group conversations.
- You have a hard time hearing over background noise.
- You can’t understand a conversation partner unless you are facing them.
- You miss important words in conversations.
- Talking on the telephone is difficult.
- Others accuse you of speaking too loudly.
Any of these signs may be an indication that you have a hearing problem.
Treatments for Hearing Loss
If you suspect hearing loss, your first question should be, “Is there an audiologist near me in Reno?” The answer is yes! Schedule an appointment with an audiologist as soon as possible; these professionals will administer tests to determine the type and degree of your hearing loss and will come up with a treatment solution right for you.
The treatment solution your Reno audiologist recommends will depend on the cause of your hearing loss and how severe it is. If your hearing loss is conductive in nature, meaning damage has occurred to the outer or middle ear, you may be able to treat it effectively with surgery or drugs. Sensorineural hearing loss, which affects the inner ear, cannot be reversed and usually requires the use of hearing aids (or, in cases of profound deafness, cochlear implants).
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of hearing loss discussed above, we urge you to seek treatment as soon as possible.