This post is brought to you by Connect Hearing and is a little bit more serious than you’ll normally find on Lifestyle Fifty, but it’s about a health issue that I believe is really relevant to our age group.
So hands-up all those of you who went to listen to The Rolling Stones, Status Quo, The Who, Jimmy Hendrix or whoever in your teens and early twenties and came away with ears thumping and heads ringing from all that loud noise and you loved it!
Chances are these days you might be asking for the TV to be turned up, and other family members ask you to turn it down? Or perhaps you don’t like loud music anymore in a crowded room full of people?
Betcha I can see a few hands up there 😉 even though perhaps like me you can hear your mother admonishing way back when, “All that loud noise isn’t good for your hearing, you know.”
And of course it’s no different for today’s kids either – drum and base – Yeowsers!
I don’t know at what stage we accept that due to the passage of time, or too many loud music concerts our hearing isn’t what it used to be.
When do we know for sure that we actually can’t hear that well anymore and need a hearing aid of some description?
I’ll fess up … in crowded rooms with lots of noise, I don’t feel quite so comfortable any more joining in a conversation with several people. I have a sneaking suspicion that I watch their lips more than I used to.
One in three suffer from hearing loss
Did you know that one in three Australian’s over the age of 50 suffer from some degree of hearing loss? For most adults, the signs that you are suffering from hearing loss are subtle and it can take years to recognise that there is a problem.
While admitting the fact that you or your partner may be experiencing hearing loss is daunting, it’s an important first step to take.
If you think that you or your partner might have a problem with their hearing, then you are not alone. Here are 5 simple signs that may indicate you or your partner has a problem with their hearing.
Avoiding busy social situations?
Competing noise, such as other people speaking, music or people moving around, can make it very difficult to clearly understand what people are saying. If you notice yourself or someone else struggling to keep up with the conversation in social situations, such as during a meal at a restaurant or at a family gathering, then it may be time to schedule an appointment with the audiologist for a check-up.
Not being able to keep up with the conversation is not only extremely frustrating but it can also be tiring and stressful, especially for those who are trying to conceal the fact that that they are having trouble hearing what’s being said.
“Sorry, what did you say?”
We’re all guilty of drifting off while someone is speaking to us,maybe something else has caught your attention or you’ve become lost in a train of thought. But, if you find that you or your loved one is constantly having to ask for parts of the conversation to be repeated then it could be a sign that there is a problem.
“Will you turn it down!”
Another common sign that you or your partner may be suffering from hearing loss is if thevolume on the TV or radio is turned up to a level that other people find uncomfortable.
If the volume needs to be on full for you to be able to hear clearly then it might be time to take a hearing test.
Getting easily frustrated with others?
Hearing loss is a gradual process, but it’s one that becomes increasingly frustrating. If you or your partner is reluctant to admit that there is a problem then you may find that tensions become raised, as a result.
Losing your hearing is a significant life change, so it’s understandable that someone experiencing hearing loss feels frustrated or upset with they change they are facing. Concealing or hiding the fact that you can’t hear as well as you used to is also tiring and can take a great deal of energy, which only adds to the feeling of irritation.
Frequently misunderstanding what has been said?
One of the most obvious signs that something is wrong with your hearing is if you or your loved on frequently mishear what has been said.
Different kinds of hearing loss
Hearing loss isn’t just about making things sound quiet. Hearing loss can involve losing the ability to hear certain frequencies. Human speech is complex andit contains low, mid and high frequency sounds, this means that people who are experiencing hearing loss may miss certain consonants or higher octaves.
For example people with high frequency hearing loss can hear vowels, but they can’t hear consonants such as F, S, T and Z.
It’s often the case that you are the first to notice someone else display the signs of hearing loss, before they notice it themselves.
Get in touch with someone who can help
If you have noticed any of the signs above in yourself or a loved one, then it may be time to get in touch with the experts. Audiologists are expert healthcare professionals who specialise in diagnosing and treating different types of hearing loss.
This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that other people complaining of things being turned up too loud could be a sign of hearing loss. My husband and I like to watch TV for a bit before bed, and he complains quite frequently that it’s turned up too loud when I can barely hear it. I’ll definitely look into getting a test and investing in hearing aids if necessary. Thanks for the great post!
I have great ears! However, my dad is a whole other story. He started to experience hearing loss a few years ago. We got him help as soon as we started to notice changes. He started raising his voice more and blasting the television. Losing his ability to hear has been hard on him. He isn’t completely deaf yet but it is getting worse as time goes on. How would you say is the best way for us to help him stay comfortable despite this impairment.
Even though I’ve spent a lot of time with elderly people, I never realized the different types of hearing loss. It makes sense that certain consonants and sounds could be harder to hear than others. Thanks for helping me be more aware of the changes going on with my older friends.
Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
I’m not yet 50, but have struggled with my hearing for several years … I even wrote a post about it! http://www.middleagedmama.com.au/selective-hearing-loss/
Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear that, Janet. Going to pop over to your post now, and suspect there might be a laugh or two in it somewhere 😉
I can hear all right but I do have a constant buzzing in my ear and have had for years, go figure x
Oh crikey, that’s not nice Rae 🙁