When most people think about hearing loss, they assume it means complete hearing impairment. However, the condition is more common than that. Hearing loss is a common issue that affects most of us to varying degrees.
When Does It Happen?
Most commonly, hearing loss occurs as you age. This usually happens gradually, and you may consider it general wear and tear that affects your hearing loss.
Less commonly, hearing loss can occur suddenly, or over a short period of time.
In both cases, you should contact your doctor for advice.
The Common Symptoms
You may not notice that you’re losing your hearing, particularly when it happens gradually. The degradation is so slow that is almost unnoticeable.
However, there are some symptoms to keep in mind. Contact your doctor if you do any of following:
- Struggle to hear or understand what people say to you when you’re in a noisy environment.
- Consistently listen to loud music, or play the television to loudly.
- Find yourself having to concentrate on what people say to the point where it causes fatigue.
- People have to repeat themselves several times when speaking to you.
Causes often differ depending on if you suffer gradual or sudden hearing loss.
In the case of sudden loss, an exceptionally loud noise may cause severe damage to your ears. Some medicines also affect your hearing.
Ear infections or a build-up of wax could lead to you losing your hearing suddenly, as might a perforated eardrum. Those with Meniere’s Disease may also experience sudden hearing loss.
As mentioned, gradual hearing loss may occur as part of the aging process. You may exacerbate the problem through extensive exposure to loud noises.
It may also happen due to the build-up of skin cells or fluid in the ear. Otosclerosis can also gradually impair your ability to hear.
Don’t assume that hearing loss doesn’t affect you. It’s possible that you’re experiencing the symptoms without realizing it. Visit your doctor if you’re concerned that you’re losing your hearing.