Posted May 11, 2016
About 1 in 10 Americans know they have diminished hearing, but most have never had their hearing checked, reports WebMD. Some people think hearing loss is inevitable, a problem that naturally occurs with age. Others believe that wearing a clunky hearing aid is the only treatment option for hearing loss, and they would rather read lips than wear a device that is visible to others. Fortunately, new technology is changing how hearing experts can identify hearing problems and find workable solutions. Here are four important things to know:
1. How hearing loss occurs – Tiny hairs in the ears send sound waves to the brain. When these hairs are damaged, they cannot be repaired or replaced. Hearing loss can occur when taking large doses of aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications or antibiotics, or by prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as fireworks, music concerts or power tools.
2. Scheduling checkups – Experts recommend that as soon as a slight change in hearing is detected, contact your doctor or a hearing specialist for an evaluation. If caught in an early stage, hearing loss may be treated with medications. More significant hearing loss usually is treated with hearing aids or surgery. Hearing loss may occur in one or both ears.
3. Exploring hearing aid options – Some people may put off having their hearing checked because they think that wearing a hearing aid will make them look old. However, there are many new styles that are nearly invisible. A hearing expert can show several options.
4. Adjusting the volume – Hearing experts say many people avoid having a hearing evaluation. They are concerned that hearing aid volume levels and making adjustments for different ambient noise levels will be too difficult. However, new designs make it easier for wearers to control the volume of their hearing aid.
Protect your hearing by scheduling time for an evaluation. If your doctor does not detect hearing impairment, the test will serve as a baseline for future testing. Take steps to prevent hearing loss.