As we age, it is important to recognize changes our body experiences, including changes in hearing. While regular check-ups can help identify early hearing loss, there are signs and symptoms we and our loved ones may notice that can be helpful identifiers of hearing loss as well.
Those who have a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss include:
- Persons with family history of hearing loss (not due to noise exposure)
- Persons who work in noisy environments
- Persons who engage in noisy activities frequently
- Persons who take medications that include hearing loss as a side effect (these medications can include certain antibiotics, cancer treatment drugs, pain relievers, etc.)
Signs and symptoms you or your loved ones may notice:
- Asking those around you to repeat themselves or speak louder
- Asking those around you to speak more slowly and clearly
- Greater difficulty hearing in one hear than the other
- Ringing, buzzing, or hissing in your ears
- Greater difficulty speaking on the phone
- Greater difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments
- Turning up the volume of the television or radio
If you or your loved ones are noticing any of these symptoms, it is always recommended to have a full audiological hearing examination by a licensed audiologist. A basic hearing evaluation typically includes a quick look into your ear canal to ensure nothing is blocking the sounds from traveling into your ear. This is then typically followed by the audiologist having you listen to different sounds with varying loudness and pitch to determine the softest sounds you are able to hear.
Seeking professionals in the Cleveland area?
Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center provides audiological testing and individualized treatment options for people of all ages!
Cleveland Clinic Head and Neck Institute Section of Audiology provides comprehensive hearing healthcare for people of all ages (find a location here)!
Other great resources to learn more about hearing:
Written by Shahed Eid