After arthritis and hypertension, hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition. Shelly Rogerson, RN, who is board certified by the International Hearing Society, recently visited Shell Point and shared some insights about hearing loss symptoms, dangers, and solutions. Part I focuses on symptoms of hearing loss.
Approximately 30 million Americans are hearing impaired, but only 15% of people who need hearing aids get them. According to The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders , the rate of hearing impairment increases in Americans as they age, with 18% of 45–64-year-olds, 30% of 65–74-year-olds, and 47% of 75-year-olds and older experiencing hearing loss.
We naturally begin losing some hearing ability in our 30s, but other causes of hearing loss include childhood infections, diseases, and high fevers; long-term exposure to loud noises; and heredity.
Be aware of these symptoms of hearing loss:
- People seem to mumble or talk fast
- You hear but do not understand
- You often ask people to repeat themselves
- Telephone conversation is difficult
- You are told you play the TV too loud
- You experience ringing in your ears
- You have difficulty understanding conversation in groups or crowds
- You are decreasing participation in once-loved activities
Check back for Part II, Dangers of Hearing Loss, to learn about why it’s important to address hearing issues as soon as you start to notice them.