If you’re like 37.5 million Americans, you probably have some trouble hearing. In fact, 15% of Americans over the age of 18 have hearing loss. However, many people put off having audiology tests at their local hearing centers. While you might be busy or even nervous about seeing an audiologist, here are some reasons you should make an appointment now.
Audiology Checkups are Preventative
Many times, people who put off audiology checkups suffer permanent hearing loss that could have been prevented. They can also assume that symptoms, such as dizziness or imbalance, are caused by some other condition. However, an infection, injury, or condition of the ears might be to blame. If you have regular audiology checkups, you can prevent or treat hearing problems before they become severe.
Your Ears Won’t Stop Ringing
Perhaps the most obvious sign that you need an audiology check is if you hear constant ringing in your ears. Sometimes, ringing comes from a sudden and loud noise or from a noisy event, such as a concert. However, if the ringing persists for more than a day or so, you may need hearing repair or therapy. You could have an infection or tinnitus, a very common condition that causes ringing in the ears.
You Swim Frequently
With summer just around the corner, many Americans will be looking forward to lounging by the pool, lake, or ocean. However, if you swim frequently, you increase the chance of contracting acute otitis externa, or swimmer’s ear. This bacterial infection is caused by water that gets trapped inside the ear and usually comes from swimming in untreated water. You may experience ear pain, redness of the area, muffled sounds, fever, or fluid or pus draining from the ear. Delaying an audiology visit to treat the infection can lead to permanent hearing loss.
Men between the ages of 20 and 69 are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss. So, it’s especially important for men to keep up with regular checkups that could detect any early signs of hearing loss.
The Volume is Too Low
If you find yourself constantly turning up the volume on your television, radio, or telephone, it might be time for a checkup. While it might be difficult to hear devices such as these on occasion, if family and friends say the volume is too loud, you may need to talk to an audiologist.
You Can’t Hear People during Phone Calls
Another common problem associated with hearing loss is difficulty hearing people during phone calls. You may even have trouble hearing the phone when it rings. Oftentimes, an in-person conversation is easier to hear, but you might be relying more on visual cues, such as body language, than you realize. On a phone call, you rely solely on your sense of hearing. So, if the volume is turned up all the way on your telephone and you’re still having trouble hearing, it could be an indication that you need to see an audiologist.
You Can’t Follow Conversations
Many times, people with hearing loss will have trouble following conversations. That’s because you might be missing what others are saying. You might also be slow to respond to people because your mind is busy trying to fill in the blanks of the words you didn’t hear. You might be the last one to get the joke or you might find conversations require excessive concentration if you’re having trouble hearing.
Improve Your Quality of Life
Visiting an audiologist can actually improve the quality of your life if you’re having difficulty hearing. Treatment, such as therapy or hearing aids, can help you converse more easily, have fewer misunderstandings, and feel less frustrated.
While some people have more trouble hearing than others, hearing loss is actually a very common problem—whether you’re young or old, female or male. So, don’t put off a visit to an audiologist that could prevent or treat serious problems. You might be surprised at how much better your everyday life could be by seeking help.