How to tell if you have hearing loss?

How to tell if you have hearing loss?
June 29, 2021 Amazing Hearing Singapore

Hearing Loss Is More Common Than You Think

Hearing loss is a common condition worldwide, which can affect an individual at any age. According to World Health Organization (WHO), over 430 million of people worldwide has hearing loss [1]. The most common type of hearing loss is presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss. This is a permanent hearing loss which cannot be restored [2]. Approximately one-third of the people aged 65 to 74 years old, and half of the people aged over 75 years old has some form of hearing loss [2]. In Singapore, it is estimated that 422,000 of the elderly population, or 1 in 7 people, suffer from hearing loss [3]. This number is expected to be double by 2030 [3].

Any hearing thresholds worse than 40 dBHL are considered having significant hearing loss. The degree of hearing loss ranges from mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe to profound [1]. Hearing loss can occur in either one ear or in both ears. The impact of hearing loss does not only affect the hearing and understanding of conversations, but also the quality of life of both yourself and your loved ones. For example, hearing loss hinders the communication between you and your loved ones and thus cause frustration to both of you. Hearing loss may also bring emotional and psychological implications, such as social isolation and low self-esteem [6].

Common Symptoms of Hearing Loss

There are some common symptoms or signs that indicate one may have hearing loss [4][5]. Here is a checklist if you are suspecting yourself having hearing loss:

Have you ever…

  • Feel that people are always mumbling?
  • Feel that you can hear, but cannot understand?
  • Have difficulty understanding speech, especially under noisy environment?
  • Need to rely heavily on someone’s lips to catch what they are saying?
  • Need to ask for repetition frequently?
  • Need to turn up the volume of the TV?
  • Experience ringing/buzzing/hissing sounds (tinnitus) in your ears?
  • Be unsure about where the sounds are coming from?
  • Struggle with women’s or children’s voices?
  • Have trouble hearing and carrying out conversation through the phone?
  • Feel that you are tired/have headaches after a conversation?
  • Become annoyed or frustrated during or after conversations?

Get a Non-surgical Solution For Your Hearing Loss

If you frequently experience a few of these signs, you may be having hearing loss. As mentioned, permanent hearing loss cannot be restored. For most of the cases, the best solution is to wear hearing aids, while in some cases people will benefit from implant devices. You should seek a professional opinion from your doctor, audiologist, or hearing care specialist as soon as possible. The sooner you seek help, the better the outcome will be.

References:

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Deafness and hearing loss. Retrieved 29th June, 2021 from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss.
  2. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders [NIDCD] (2016) . Age-related Hearing Loss. NIH Pub. No. 97-4235. Retrieved 29th June 2021, from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss.
  3. Lee, J.C., Danker, A., Wong, Y., & Lim, M. (2017). Hearing Loss amongst the Elderly in a Southeast Asian Population – A Community-based Study. Annals of the Academy of Medicines, Singapore, 46(4), 145-154.
  4. Victory, J. (2021). Hearing loss symptoms. Retrieved 29th June, 2021 from https://www.healthyhearing.com/help/hearing-loss/symptoms.
  5. Victory, J. (2021). 10 signs you may have hearing loss. Retrieved 29th June, 2021 from https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/43310-Ten-signs-of-hearing.
  6. Leong, A. (2020). Hearing Loss: More Common Than You Think. Retrieved 29th June, 2021 from https://www.gleneagles.com.sg/healthplus/article/hearing-loss.
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