Mild hearing loss may sound, umm, mild, but it’s quite the misnomer. Professionals classify any hearing thresholds between 25-40 dB to be a mild hearing loss. (Click here for the different degrees of hearing loss.) But short of measuring your hearing loss precisely, how can you tell if you have mild hearing loss?
People with a mild hearing loss tend to be able to hear speech when someone is speaking close to them or if the room is quiet. They can hear when people are talking loudly, too. However, they probably feel that people are mumbling and/or that their ears are constantly plugged up. They also struggle when there are competing sound signals (for example speech and noise together). Also, quite a few people with mild hearing loss feel like they have an abundance of wax in their ear and that they would hear fine if it was just cleaned out.
“Hearing Loss effects more than just your ears, it changes your life completely.” Cari Cleppe, Manchester and O’Fallon Hearing Instrument Specialist.
Hearing loss has been linked to a number of health conditions including dementia, heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and brain shrinkage. Your ears are linked to so many other body systems. When you ignore your hearing loss you are also damaging other parts of your body.
An annual hearing test should be part of your healthcare routine. You visit your primary care physician, your dentist and your eye doctor for regular check ups, why are your ears any different? Here are some effects of hearing loss!
Hearing loss is gradual.
Hearing loss usually happens slowly over the course of many years. This makes it hard to detect when you aren’t hearing like you used too. Family and friends often notice first. But most hearing loss sufferers will deny they have a problem for 7 to 10 years before they decide to address it. Here are some causes of hearing loss.
Early detection is key.
If you get an annual hearing test you will be able to address your hearing loss early. Nothing good comes from waiting 7 to 10 years to treat hearing loss. The longer you wait the more sounds your brain will ‘forget.’ Leaving you with a more difficult adjustment period when you do finally get hearing aids.
Even if you don’t feel your hearing has changed, it is a good idea to have an annual hearing test when you reach age 55. This is when many people start to experience age related hearing loss. If you get a baseline test at 55 you will have something to compare with each year, incase your hearing does start to decline.
Hearing loss impacts your happiness.
When it becomes difficult to hear, most people begin to withdraw from social situations. This leaves hearing loss sufferers feeling isolated and often leads to depression. Communication is key to many personal relationships. When you have difficulty understanding loved ones, they can easily become frustrated and refrain from sharing with you.
If you already wear hearing aids, it’s still important to get an annual hearing test. Your hearing will change over time. A hearing test will help your hearing specialist adjust your aids to any changes. Then you will know you are always hearing your best.
In short, it’s important to get an annual hearing test to maintain your health and quality of life.
Please Contact Us if you have any questions! We would love to help you hear your best!