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Hearing loss is not an issue that we think about very often. When we do it is usually because others close to us have noticed a change in our ability to hear. This is unfortunate and preventable. It is quite normal to take our senses for granted but, as we become more involved in sustaining our overall health it is important to note, the strength of our hearing should be at the top of the list!
Why should we prioritize our auditory senses?
First and foremost, it is instrumental for effective communication with others. We rely on identifying not just words, but tone, rhythm, and inflection as well! When we neglect the needs of our hearing health we compromise our interaction with others via language.
Another reason is the reliance we have on hearing sounds that keep us aware and out of harms way in our daily activities such as driving, walking through a busy downtown, or using public transportation. As we age it is common for all of our senses to change but the important take away from this article is to help you mitigate the loss of hearing.
Let’s look at the most common indicators and some questions to ask ourselves. Honest answers to these questions will help alert you to the different aspects and possible onset of hearing loss.
- Have you noticed increased difficulty understanding words when in a crowd or a busy restaurant?
- Has it made you feel uncomfortable joining in group chats at the dinner table?
- Are you feeling increased stress about attending large or small events that you otherwise looked forward to?
- Do the normal background sounds of familiar places and activities that were once unnoticeable, now pose a hinderance?
- Social situations in dynamic environments will often give you clues as to the ease, or lack of, maintaining and understanding conversations with others.
- Have you noticed an increase in your volume levels when you watch TV or listen to your favorite podcast?
- Is your need for increased volume greater than the others that you are watching a film or TV with?
- When you are at the movie theater, has it become harder and harder to follow the speech of the actors?
- Have your close friends or family started to complain about you speaking too loudly?
- How many times have you slept through your alarm?
Loss of Clarity
You are watching your favorite documentary and now it seems to be a struggle to decipher and follow the narrator. The voice seems muffled. It is harder for you to pick on the consonants in words.
- Is this happening to you more frequently?
- Does is happen daily when you speak to others?
- Are those dreaded meetings at work even harder to follow or engage in with confidence?
- Are you missing out on the nuances in tones when people are speaking?
- Do you require people to repeat what they say more often than not?
These are some of the things we lose when our ability to hear starts to deteriorate. It affects our ability to engage, respond and interact in accordance to the situation at hand.
In the early stages of hearing loss we are able to compensate by relying on physical clues such as body language to help us fill in the gaps. However, that strategy often falters and leaves us out in the cold. The complexity of language and thereby, communication, relies so very heavily upon our sense of hearing. Some of the outcomes most certainly result in withdrawal.
- Are familial or social engagements causing you distress?
- Do you find yourself feigning comprehension in group dynamics?
- Is there an increase in misunderstanding and arguments with those closest to you?
Using the above indicators and answering the questions posed can help you gauge your hearing health. At the end of it you know you be preemptive about the retention of your auditory senses. The best way to ensure this is to act quickly and get an exam as soon as possible.
Mitigate any loss that there might be by consulting us! We can help you sustain your hearing health for a life continually nurtured by the relationships you maintain with those you love! We are here when you are ready to take that first step by setting your first appointment on your path to wellness.