The number of British people with hearing loss will increase from 12 million today, to 14.2 million by 2035. If someone tells you that your TV is too loud, or if you have difficulty paying attention to conversations in public, you may be experiencing early symptoms of hearing loss . Here are the signs to look out for – and how to test your hearing.
You may think you will be the first to notice a change in hearing quality, but this is not always the case.
Franki Oliver, Audiology Advisor at the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), explains how people may not notice hearing loss in the first place.
Franki said: “Unfortunately, research shows people take an average of 10 years to take action on their hearing loss: they may not see any signs, they may not know what to do about it or they may be afraid to admit their hearing isn’t what it used to be.
“Hearing loss can happen gradually, so you may not notice it at first.
“It may be harder to hear a quieter sound or a higher frequency, but you can compensate for this by turning on the TV or asking people to repeat it.”
More than 40 per cent of British adults over the age of 50 suffer from hearing loss, and more than 70 per cent of people over the age of 70.
So, what are your missing signs?
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What activities increase the risk of hearing loss?
While many factors that cause hearing loss are due to genetics, several risk factors can increase the chances of hearing loss.
Franki says: “There are a variety of causes of hearing loss including age, sound exposure, certain medications, genetics, viruses, bacterial infections, and ear wax.
“The second biggest cause of hearing loss, after aging, is exposure to loud noise, which is also the most preventable cause.”
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You also need to make sure that you are careful how loud you play music through headphones.
Franki says: “If you’re listening to music through headphones, it’s very important not to exceed the safe volume limit on your device – these usually look yellow or red when you increase the volume.
“If you use headphones in a crowded environment (e.g. on public transportation), you may need to invest in some with noise cancellation technology.
“This means you’re not going to add volume to a dangerous level to try and cover up background noise.
“Again, it’s better to take regular breaks, for example if you listen to music for an hour, a five -minute break.”
Delivery source: Daily express