We have rung in another new year, but are you bringing some of your old issues into the New Year? Have you been noticing a difference in your hearing? Maybe people start to notice changes in their hearing when they are in family settings. Because they know what their family sounds like and are used to them, when they start to not be able to follow conversation or lose the ability to distinguish individuals’ voices, then the person starts to realize they are having hearing difficulty.

Do not wait another year – let’s talk about common situations that may cause you to think about getting your hearing checked:

      ·      Speech and other sounds seem muffled

      ·      Trouble hearing high-pitched sounds (e.g., birds, doorbell, telephone, alarm clock)

      ·      Trouble understanding conversations when you are in a noisy place, such as a restaurant

      ·      Trouble understanding speech over the phone

       ·      Trouble hearing speech consonants (e.g., trouble hearing the difference between s and f, between p and t, or between sh

              and th in speech)

       ·      Asking others to speak more slowly and clearly

       ·      Asking someone to speak more loudly or repeat what they said

       ·      Turning up the volume of the television or radio

       ·      Ringing in the ears

       ·      Hypersensitivity to certain sounds (certain sounds are very bothersome or create pain)

       ·      cdc.gov

There are many ways someone can get hearing loss. That is why it is always important to preserve your hearing. Ways to practice preservation of hearing would be to wearing ear plugs or headphones when being exposed to loud noises or sitting away from speakers at concerts or sporting events. It also helps to know if you are more susceptible to hearing loss. Individuals who would be at risk for hearing loss include:

  • Genetics and individual susceptibility to noise

  • Long-standing (chronic) conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure

  • Injuries to the ear

  • Organic liquid chemicals, such as toluene

  • Certain medicines

  • cdc.gov

If you fall into this category but are not experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, it would still be a good idea to have a hearing test. Getting a test could serve as a baseline, so in the future if you are experiencing hearing difficulty the Hearing Care Profession (HCP) or audiologist has something to compare it to.

It’s a new year, so take care of your hearing! If you or a loved one are having ear or hearing difficulty, please contact your local audiologist or hearing care professional today!