Hearing loss doesn’t just happen to older people. If you notice any of the following warning signals – ringing or buzzing, for example – talk to your doctor.
Silent signs of hearing loss
You may think that hearing loss is a problem affecting only the elderly, but the World Health Organization reports that 50% of young people aged 13 to 35 are at risk of developing hearing loss. because of the noise associated with leisure activities – such as smartphones and audio players.
Your ears are ringing or buzzing
Ringing or ringing in the ears that comes and goes is one of the first signs of hearing loss. “When it’s quiet around you, you may start to hear a low ringing or buzzing noise in the background.
When it becomes more noticeable and frequent or is still there, it means that you have damaged the nerves in your ears, ”says Dr. Robert L. Pincus, associate professor in the department of otolaryngology at New York Medical College.
The use of headphones is a major contributor to hearing impairment. Younger people should start paying attention to warning signs now, says Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, an otolaryngologist in Chicago. “Permanent hearing loss can occur 8 to 15 minutes after listening to music at full volume,” he says.
If you experience a temporary ringing or buzzing when you stop the music, that should be the first clue that the music is too loud. ” Dr. Cherukuri suggests investing in closed-back noise-canceling headphones because they reduce ambient noise such as traffic, so you don’t have to turn up the volume to hear. Although mini headphones are popular, they are dangerous because they sit near the eardrum.
You lose your balance
If you notice that you trip more often, clumsiness is not necessarily the cause – it could also be a sign of hearing loss. “When people have trouble hearing, they put so much effort into trying to hear that simple things like balance get less attention from the brain,” says Dr Sreekant Cherukuri.
Because the internal auditory canals send signals to your brain to help you maintain balance, damage to these same canals could cause you to lose your balance.
You forget more often
“Since memory relies heavily on what you hear, it’s hard to remember things you can’t hear,” says Dr. Cherukuri. As we age, however, hearing loss can become an indicator of mental decline. This is why this loss often leads to social isolation, which is a risk factor for cognitive decline.
Another factor: if your hearing is impaired, your brain can provide more energy to process sound at the expense of memory and thinking, he concludes.
Loud noises cause pain
The rumble of the subway and car horns can be loud and irritating, but the sounds shouldn’t cause pain. If so, it could be a sign of hearing loss. “When you have hearing loss, your ear is less able to absorb loud noises, which can cause pain when hearing them,” says Dr. Robert Pincus. The pain is hard to describe, but it falls somewhere between sharp, throbbing pain and a dull ache. ”
You spend your time saying “What?”
If you have trouble hearing in places with lots of background noise, such as restaurants, don’t blame it on loud conversations or poor acoustics. “A well-functioning ear can pick up what you want to hear in a noisy room. If you can’t, this could be one of the first signs of high-pitched hearing loss, ”concludes Dr. Pincus.
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