If you find yourself using phrases like “what?” or “excuse me?” in conversation more often than not, you might have some form of hearing loss. If this is the case, you would be one of 37.5 million Americans over the age of 18 who have reported some form of hearing loss. If you think that you have hearing problems, you will want to get it checked out as soon as possible. Visiting with a hearing specialist could help you maintain your quality of life by helping to preserve some of your hearing.
A hearing healthcare professional can be an advocate for you throughout the evaluation and exam processes. These professionals are the only ones who can administer a hearing test and recommend treatment options for your hearing loss. Getting to an audiologist or other hearing professional as soon as possible will give you the best shot at limiting your hearing loss. But how do you know when you need to see a doctor? Let’s take a look at what can cause hearing loss and when you should see a doctor for it.
When to See a Doctor
There could be many reasons for hearing loss. From age and noise-related injuries to a host of other medically related conditions, hearing issues can be sudden or develop over time. Although it can happen to people at any age, hearing loss increases as people get older. As the inner ear changes throughout life problems can develop. Pair those changes with prolonged noise exposure over a lifetime and you have a perfect storm for hearing issues.
Aging and cumulative noise exposure can impact your understanding of person-to-person or phone conversations. It can also hamper your ability to hear speech over ambient noise, or your ability to even hear the television. If you are exhibiting these signs of hearing loss, these are good indications that you should seek the advice of a professional for a treatment plan.
In addition to a gradual degree of hearing loss brought on by age or noise exposure, there a few other instances when you would want to seek the opinion of a doctor. Sudden loss of hearing, often accompanied by some kind of ringing sensation or fullness can be signs of a serious problem. The hearing problems could risk becoming permanent if you don’t seek help. Hearing loss of this kind could be present when you wake up or occur suddenly during the day.
Another serious problem could be a loss of hearing in one ear. This could come on progressively over time or suddenly as well. Unless there is a cause for this, such as exposure to an explosion on one side, this type of hearing loss necessitates further evaluation. Knowing when to see a doctor could be crucial to saving your hearing. If you don’t already see an audiologist or ENT specialist, doing a simple search for “hearing specialist near me” could help you locate a doctor to evaluate your symptoms.
Specialists including audiologists, speech-language pathologists, otolaryngologists, laryngologists, and others work at identifying and treating hearing loss. If you think you are experiencing any level of hearing loss you should see one of these care specialists to identify potential problems like tinnitus, tumors, or sensorineural hearing loss. While you could have just gradual untreated hearing loss, you might have another condition that could require cochlear implants, hearing aids, or other treatments. If this is the case, it is always good to get a second opinion. Doing research and seeing a second doctor or care specialist could give you peace of mind and provide you with a full picture of the care you need. You could even seek an online second opinion.
Most people see a doctor for annual physicals to protect their overall health. These visits can detect medical problems before they become major concerns. When it comes to hearing, however, many people don’t go in for regular screenings. As a result, hearing issues that could have been avoided go untreated. Since hearing issues have been linked to social isolation, depression, and balance and gait issues you must protect your hearing health. Hearing screenings should be integrated into your wellness routine. These assessments have proven to be important tools that can identify minor to severe hearing issues.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Health category