Healthy living is more than just exercising and eating right. It also involves taking care of another critical aspect of your health—your hearing. Visualize all the sounds that surround you on a given day: the chorus of birds singing, laughter after you have landed a joke, the rain on the roof while you are lying in bed, a golf ball dropping in the hole, or a great song on the radio. It is this symphony of sounds that bring joy, connection, and purpose to our lives.
For many of us, we do not appreciate what we have until it is gone. Occasionally, we all miss a few words here and there, but in general many people hear effortlessly while talking to one another, listening to the television, and conversing over the telephone. For people with hearing loss, the ability to communicate easily and naturally becomes a challenge.
When a person has to concentrate to hear what others are saying, he or she may feel frustrated, embarrassed, lonely, irritable, or sad. If left untreated, this may eventually lead to depression and isolation.
Hearing loss is invisible and usually painless, so many people fail to realize when it is happening. One of the first signs you may notice is that people seem to not speak as clearly as they used to. You may begin to ask for repetition and may even criticize others for mumbling. You may find that you are withdrawing from social situations. The television may become a source of dispute within the family, as they complain of the volume being too loud. Another sign may include ringing in the ears that is more noticeable in quiet places. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with an audiologist.
Audiologists are professionals who evaluate and treat hearing and balance related disorders. Changes in hearing can occur at any time throughout life and for many different reasons, thus hearing should be checked routinely throughout life. Please do not suffer in silence. Hearing makes life richer and connects us with those we love!