Hearing loss is much more common than you think.

Chances are you know more than one person with some degree of hearing loss.

According to the Mayo Clinic, about one-third of people between the ages of 65 and 75 in the United States have a hearing loss, increasing to one in two for those above 75.

However, we see people of all ages in our hearing clinic — from newborn up.

Some of the hearing loss in children is from ear infections, a common occurrence in most children under three.

Others are three times more likely to experience some hearing loss from ongoing noise exposure in loud work environments compared to those with no noise exposure at work, while yet others (5 in 10) habitually listen to too-loud music through their earphones or at social events.

Read more about hearing loss in young people here.

Certain health conditions also predispose some people to having a hearing loss: hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes.

Lately, some people who have had COVID-19 have suffered from a hearing loss too.

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Why Do So Many People Have an Untreated Hearing Loss?

Hearing healthcare seems to be a low priority. Regular visits to monitor our health, vision, and dental hygiene are engrained in society as important, but hearing healthcare seems to be put on the backburner.

Addressing hearing loss would improve many lives, as hearing loss can cause people to experience memory loss, depression, and tinnitus – in addition to frustration at work and in social settings or on the phone.

Yet too many people avoid getting a diagnosis as if it’s admitting they are getting old or signing themselves up for visible hearing aids.

The reality is that the sooner we can diagnose and treat it, the more we can prevent future hearing loss and/or restore existing damage.

Why Do People Wait Seven Years on Average Before Addressing A Hearing Challenge?

Symptoms of hearing loss tend to be ignored until they start to affect loved ones, sparking the person with a hearing loss to finally seek treatment because of the strain their hearing loss is putting on their relationships or because of how it’s affecting their work performance.

Hearing loss and hearing aids carry such a large stigma that people put off hearing better until significant word understanding is lost.

When you say “hearing aids,” most people picture a grandfather’s big, banana-looking hearing aids that continuously whistled and didn’t seem to improve his hearing, which is not the case anymore.

Technology and the aesthetics of hearing aids have greatly improved since the old days.  

What Are the Most Common Initial Signs of Hearing Loss?

The most common early signs of hearing loss include:

  • Having people repeat themselves frequently
  • Difficulty understanding speech when there’s background noise
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Turning up the volume on the TV
  • Social withdrawal

What Are Some of the Most Common Signs of Hearing Loss in a Loved One?

A loved one with a hearing loss is more withdrawn and starts to avoid social gatherings. They may complain that people mumble, or they ask them to speak up or repeat what they say.

Their speech, and TV volume, is uncomfortably loud, and they can’t seem to track a conversation properly.

What Should Somebody Do If They’re Concerned About Their Hearing?

If you are concerned about your hearing, you should schedule a diagnostic hearing evaluation with an audiologist.

A diagnostic hearing test is an objective and quantitative way of confirming or denying hearing issues.

We can diagnose present medical conditions, and the result serves as a baseline to monitor the progression of your hearing loss over time.

Why Are Regular Hearing Assessments So Important?

We have a high value for knowing how good your hearing is from year to year, so if your hearing starts to change, we can tell by exactly how much because we can compare it to previous test results.

This is invaluable data that also helps us to determine the perfect treatment plan to rectify your hearing.

Contact us to set up an appointment for a comprehensive hearing assessment at our Lake Charles or Lake Charles South location.

Alternatively, call us at 337-436-3277 with any questions you have about the assessment. We look forward to helping you or a loved one on your journey to better hearing!

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Dr. Heidi J Sorrells - Audiologist

Dr. Heidi J. Sorrells obtained her doctorate degree from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She is a certified audiologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and she holds a Louisiana and a Texas audiology license. Dr. Sorrells enjoys all aspects of working in a private practice audiology clinic but especially loves the challenges of vestibular (balance) assessment and rehabilitation.