Although some people lose their hearing because of a lot of exposure to loud noises without using hearing protection, such as earplugs, one of the main causes of hearing loss is the aging process. As you age, it can affect all the tiny hairs in your inner ears that sense sounds. However, because this is a gradual process, you may not realize at first that you're starting to experience hearing loss. At first, it may just be soft sounds or higher-pitched sounds that you have trouble hearing and then it can get gradually worse over time until there's no escaping the fact that you're losing your hearing and need a hearing aid. Ask yourself if you're experiencing any of the three signs below to determine if you might have hearing loss that merits getting a hearing aid.
You Can Hear Men Better Than Women and Children
It's typically the higher pitched sounds that get difficult to hear first, and women and children tend to have higher pitched voices than men.
You Often Misunderstand People
Because the higher-pitched and softer sounds go first, you may have difficulty hearing and understanding certain words, making it hard to understand what people are trying to say even when you hear them talking. People may seem to be mumbling. The "th," "s," and "f" sounds are among the more difficult to hear as people get older, along with some of the vowel sounds. You may have to ask people to repeat themselves often or have difficulty understanding when people talk softly.
You Can't Hear Well When There's Background Noise
If you're avoiding noisy places and social gatherings because it's hard to understand what's going on, you may need a hearing aid. It may be hard to understand the conversation when you're with a group of people with multiple people talking at once or when people are talking to you from another room or talking to you on the phone. As people get older, it gets harder to deal with competing sounds occurring at the same time. The hard work required to follow these types of conversations can leave you with headaches and fatigue by the end of the day.
Don't worry, a hearing aid will be able to help you tune out some of the competing noises and better hear the sounds that are giving you difficulty. Unfortunately, it can't totally get rid of the hearing loss and make it so you hear perfectly again or make it so your hearing loss doesn't continue to get worse over time. But the more consistently you wear hearing aids, the more helpful they'll be. Look for a hearing clinic in Red Deer or somewhere near you to talk with a professional about your hearing loss.