Hearing: An Important Physical Ability
Today most Americans obtain regular medical and dental checkups. Many people also routinely arrange to visit an optometrist.
Why, then, do so many delay scheduling periodic hearing tests provided by an audiologist? The answer to this question highlights one of the most pervasive problems associated with hearing loss.
The Beauty of Sound
Paradoxically perhaps, almost everyone agrees about the undeniable importance of maintaining good hearing. The ability of human beings to detect sounds clearly brings joy and satisfaction in daily life.
The beauty of a musical piece, conversations with loved ones and friends, and the almost magical qualities of sounds in Nature enrich the fabric of existence in a very intimate way. Virtually everyone with the ability to do so enjoys hearing singing birds, gently rustling tree branches, and the charming gurgle of streams and brooks. In truth, probably most people endowed with the blessing of hearing greatly appreciate this gift!
Auditory Checkups: Medically Important
While members of the public value the ability to hear on a deeply emotional and sensory level, most of us also recognize intellectually detecting auditory problems can sometimes hold medical importance, too. Certain health conditions cause transient or permanent hearing losses.
In some situations, a hearing deficit represents an important early symptom of a developing health concern. Catching hearing losses at an early point in time often holds great value for a patient. An audiologist may assist someone in restoring lost hearing and may also provide a referral to other health specialists.
Given the importance of maintaining good hearing, why indeed do some individuals resist scheduling regular hearing evaluations? The benefits of seeking help for hearing losses quickly appear overwhelming. Why would anyone delay taking this step?
Unfortunately, victims of hearing loss do not always readily recognize their own hearing problems. Family members and friends may not draw this condition to someone’s attention immediately. When someone does not hear a statement correctly, the mistake in perception may not appear immediately obvious to others. All too frequently, a person with a hearing impairment will not hear a conversation accurately, or they will accuse other people of whispering or mumbling. These individuals may even miss portions of a discussion going on around them.
Signs of Hearing Loss
If you suspect a loved one has suffered a possible hearing loss, watch for these warning signs:
- Your loved one may seemingly ignore some daily communications;
- That person may turn the volume of the car radio or the television set to a level other people consider painfully loud;
- Your loved one may seem inattentive around the home, failing to answer a doorbell or to respond appropriately to household noises;
- An individual with undiagnosed hearing losses may not hear words accurately; your loved one may paraphrase your words back to you incorrectly, or may even engage in seemingly disjointed conversations at social gatherings.
Schedule Regular Hearing Checkups
By making sure your loved one receives hearing checkups on a regular basis, you’ll enable prompt detection and diagnosis of problems. Taking this step for everyone in your household routinely avoids potentially difficult conversations about hearing loss.
An individual who has sustained a significant gradual decline in hearing may not fully recognize the extent of the loss until an audiologist verifies the condition. Routine audiology care often makes a big difference in the quality of daily life!