7 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Hearing Loss
I’ve been living with hearing loss for over 30 years. That may not sound like much, but it has allowed me to learn a lot about the condition—and I don’t consider myself an expert by any means! Still, there are some things that I wish someone had told me when I first learned that my hearing was deteriorating. Here are seven things:
1) Hearing loss is gradual.
- Hearing loss is gradual. You may not notice it at first because it happens gradually, over time.
- It’s easy to ignore hearing loss. Because it’s a progressive condition that gets worse over time, it can be easy to overlook or ignore the early signs of hearing loss—especially if you’re not ready to admit that something is wrong with your ears in the first place.
- Hearing loss isn’t natural and doesn’t have to happen as you get older. While some degree of hearing loss is unavoidable as we age (due partly to genetics), there are many things that can cause hearing problems in younger adults too—including exposure to loud noise, certain medications or illnesses, ear infections (like swimmer’s ear), prolonged exposure to cold temperatures (for example, working outside during winter months).
2) Hearing loss can be lonely.
The second thing that I wish someone had told me is that hearing loss can be lonely. It’s a fact of life that we all have our struggles and challenges, but when you are going through something like hearing loss, it can be difficult to communicate with others. You start avoiding social situations and interactions because you don’t want to feel left out or misunderstood—and this is where things get even more complicated!
In addition to feeling isolated, people with hearing loss often find themselves unable to catch conversations in noisy environments like restaurants or on the phone (they may also have trouble understanding what someone says if their voice is low or raspy).
3) Hearing loss doesn’t discriminate.
- Hearing loss can happen to anyone. It doesn’t discriminate based on age or gender. However, it is more common in older people and in men than women.
- In addition to our genes, hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises over time, such as working in a factory or being exposed to gunfire on the battlefield. Other causes include ear infections, surgery and medicine use (such as aspirin).
4) Hearing loss is “normal” as one ages.
I wish someone had told me that hearing loss, especially in adults, is normal as one ages. Hearing loss isn’t common to all adults but it is extremely common and has become more so over time. It’s not a sign of aging or mental decline or physical decline—it’s only a sign that your ears aren’t functioning as well as they used to!
5) Technology can help.
The good news is that there are many different types of technology available to help you hear better, such as hearing aids and Bluetooth devices.
There are also personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), which are non-medical devices that amplify sounds and can be used by people with mild to moderate hearing loss. However, they should not be your first choice if you have severe hearing loss or other issues that make it difficult for others to understand what you’re saying.
6) There are ways to protect your hearing health.
Your hearing health is important. You can protect your ears by wearing earplugs when you go to a loud concert, movie theater, sporting event or work environment. Earplugs are also useful in restaurants when you don’t want to hear the conversation of the person sitting next to you.
7) Get some good hearing protection (and use it).
Hearing protection is really important. It’s a great idea to get some hearing protection, and if you have a dog, or you live with someone who suffers from hearing loss, I would recommend getting it for them as well. You can find different kinds of hearing protection at any drug store or online, and there are many different price points depending on what your budget looks like.
Here are some general tips for finding the right kind of ear plugs:
- Make sure they fit in properly (you’ll know this because they won’t be falling out when you walk through doorways)
- Test them out before buying a pack (if possible) by trying them out at home first since every pair fits differently!
There are many challenges with having hearing loss, but there are also many options for managing it.
Hearing loss is not always a gradual process. Some people experience sudden, severe hearing loss at any age, while others have a more gradual decline in their ability to hear.
Hearing loss can happen for many different reasons, so it’s important to understand what causes it in order to find out how best to manage it as you get older.
- Exposure to loud noises over time (like working as a musician or attending concerts) can lead to noise-induced hearing loss.
- Infections such as meningitis or certain types of mumps can cause temporary or permanent damage that impacts your ability to hear properly after they clear up—or if they don’t clear up at all!
- Age-related conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure make your risk of developing permanent damage much higher if left untreated; getting treatment early could save you from having a harder time than necessary later on down the road!
In the end, hearing loss is a complex issue that affects many people in different ways. There are no easy fixes or quick solutions to this problem. I wish someone had told me all of these things before my hearing started declining, but now you know them too! If you’re going through similar difficulties, I hope this article helped shed some light on what you might expect from your journey and how you can manage it when it comes time for treatment options.