Educating yourself on hearing loss is important, especially if you have recently experienced it or you have family members or friends who have done so. This article provides pertinent information about the nature of hearing loss.
1) Sudden hearing loss versus gradual hearing loss
If you have experienced hearing loss that has come suddenly - one day you are hearing well and the next day you lose your ability to hear noticeably - then consult your nearest general practitioner doctor (GP) or otolaryngologist (ENT doctor). A sudden hearing loss can sometimes be reversed if quick action is taken by an experienced medical professional.
If the hearing loss is gradual and has occurred over years, you are likely to have age-related hearing loss (medical term: presbycusis). This is a gradual deterioration of your hearing nerves/hair cells as a result of aging, and is not a reversible condition.
It can be difficult to make a judgement on how gradual your hearing loss has occurred. If you are unsure about this, consult your nearest hearing professional such as The Listening Lab in Singapore or Malaysia.
2) What does it mean if you have an age-related hearing loss?
After a complete hearing assessment with The Listening Lab, you may be told you have a age-related hearing impairment. Like all other health matters, entering middle age tends to come with a loss of sensory abilities. Hearing is no different and is subject to wear and tear of time.
Such hearing losses are not reversible. “Letting it be” is also not an option as untreated hearing losses can result in :
- Emotional Imbalance
- Reduced perceived ability at work
- Social withdrawal
- Reduced general health
These are all documented and statistically proven consequences of untreated hearing loss, by a multitude of NGOs and research organisations.
3) What should my next steps be to avoid untreated hearing loss?
Go for a hearing test. That should and must be the first step to resolving untreated loss. After the rest, your hearing professional can advise if you are a suitable candidate for hearing aids.
Get your hearing aids fitted properly. A good, experienced hearing centre can make sure that suitable hearing aids are fitted for you so that you regain as much hearing as naturally possible, while keeping the amplification comfortable and safe for you.
From then on, work with your hearing professional to ensure your hearing aids are in optimal condition with regular reviews. A good hearing care service should incorporate free follow-up service for life, such as what the Listening Lab offers.
4) Don’t be afraid to engage with family and society again
Put yourself out there. Better hearing with hearing aids ultimately give you confidence to engage with the world again, hearing the world, listening to the words of loved ones, and interacting with them again. That is why hearing - like all your other senses - is priceless.