Over the last year there has been a lot of change, forcing people to adjust to a new “normal”. With life operating at a slower pace, many were able to start focusing on themselves, taking better care of work-life balance, relationships, and the health of their bodies.
Some health changes are more openly talked about, but there remains a stigma attached to hearing care, with it often being viewed as a symptom of ageing.
While this is more typical and extremely common, hearing loss can affect anyone at any age.
It is vital that individuals look after their ears, no matter what age, and if any changes are noticed, to speak to a professional straight away. By receiving care, changes can be minimised, improved and treated.
Here’s an outline of signs, symptoms and a step-by-step appointment process to put minds at ease.
People may experience various symptoms with their ear health, and there can be many different causes. It’s important to note that hearing loss can be temporary or permanent.
Gradual hearing loss affecting both ears is typical as you age, but it can happen suddenly.
The NHS lists common signs as difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places; asking people to repeat themselves; listening to music or watching TV loudly; and having to concentrate hard to hear what other people are saying.
Each case is unique to the individual, but there are a few common causes which lead to different symptoms.
Sudden hearing loss in one ear could be due to earwax, an ear infection, or a perforated eardrum.
Sudden hearing loss in both ears could be due to damage from a very loud noise or taking certain medicines that can affect hearing.
Gradual hearing loss in one ear may be due to something inside the ear, such as fluid, a bony growth or a build-up of skin cells.
The appointment process
The first step is all about communication and talking through any concerns. By booking a hearing health check, a qualified audiologist will speak to the patient and find out as many details as possible to provide insight to the potential problem. At this stage, the patient would explain their symptoms, whether it be struggling to hear audio in the usual volume range or struggling to pick up conversations, to name a few.
The next step would be to take part in a full hearing assessment. This 75-minute appointment will focus in on medical history and ask more about the patient’s lifestyle, as well as checking the health of their ears.
Using headphones, patients will listen to sounds which feature different tones and volumes, pressing a button when they hear noise.
This comprehensive assessment allows the hearing aid audiologist to provide a range of options for treatment, ensuring there is a perfect fit to suit the patient’s lifestyle.
Options and treatments
Depending on the diagnosis, patients can receive a hearing impairment care plan, which could feature hearing aids or individuals could opt to use a different way of communicating, such as sign language or lip reading.
For many, even those of an older demographic, wearing hearing aids can be regarded as embarrassing. However, it’s important to remember that wearing these can benefit quality of life.
In addition, thanks to modern technology, hearing aids are much more discreet than in the past, with many going unnoticed while being worn.
There are also various brands to suit all budgets. Patients can purchase a functional and discreet device to purely help them hear better, or even go for a more technically advanced aid. Advancement in technology now offers devices with Bluetooth, so you can link your hearing aid with your phone, tablets, smart watches or TVs, allowing you to stream audio.
Is there an audiologist near me?
To book an appointment at your nearest branch, click here.