Sometimes hearing loss is easy to detect: you might find you need people to talk loudly or even shout during a conversation or perhaps the television is uncomfortably loud for those of normal hearing. However, sometimes hearing loss can be difficult to detect, especially in younger adults and children. After all, hearing loss isn’t limited to the elderly population.

Who suffers from hearing loss?

Yes, while one in three individuals age 65 and older suffer from some form of hearing loss, more and more younger adults and children are being diagnosed with hearing loss. It is the number one birth defect in the United States and can affect 15 percent of the general adult population, age 18 and older. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, roughly 20.8 million of Americans age 20-69 suffer from hearing loss.

What are the symptoms of hearing loss?

By knowing the common signs of hearing loss, it can be easier to detect if someone is silently suffering. The common signs of hearing loss include:

  • Inability to hear female or child voices. Higher pitched sounds, including female or child voices, are often harder to register when suffering from hearing loss.
  • Television volume: As mentioned before, a blaring or uncomfortably loud TV is often a sign someone is having a hard time hearing.
  • Asking for repeated conversation: People with undiagnosed hearing loss often ask others in conversation to repeat themselves.
  • Inability to understand conversation in crowds: Those suffering from hearing loss often have a difficult time understanding conversation in louder environments, such as a crowded restaurant or room. This can lead to depression and social isolation as these individuals begin to shy away from social events altogether.
  • Depression: While many issues can lead to depression, hearing loss is a more common one, especially in elderly people. Depression can be caused by the social isolation from avoiding parties or dining out with friends or family. It could also stem from not being able to understand grandkids or a spouse. Whatever the cause, it is important to visit a primary health physician and an audiologist if a person also suffers from hearing loss.

What does the audiologist do?

An audiologist is the perfect professional to see to have your hearing health evaluated. Your audiologist will collect a medical history, including any head trauma or medicines you’re currently taking. They will also ask you questions related to your profession, lifestyle and hobbies you enjoy. Your audiologist wants to gather all the information possible about your health, to paint a more complete picture of what kind of condition you may be suffering from and what caused it.

Next, your audiologist will perform a series of hearing tests to evaluate your abilities. If they determine there is a hearing loss, your audiologist will recommend the best solution available for your particular needs.

If you suspect your or a loved one has hearing loss, make an appointment with an audiologist to not only improve your hearing, but your quality of life too!