Your hearing is possibly your most valuable sense after your eyesight. Because hearing loss is not always obvious it is widely misunderstood, yet many people are destined to have hearing problems at some stage in their lives.
Age-related hearing loss actually starts around the age of 20, and then accelerates after 50. Those afflicted by hearing loss may have trouble coming to terms with it, or even admitting to themselves they have a problem.
And of course, hearing loss doesn’t just affect the sufferer. Family and friends often find it frustrating to be constantly repeating themselves, putting up with a loud TV, or not being heard at all in noisy environments.
If you are troubled by early signs of hearing loss, or loved ones are dropping hints, you can take these steps:
** The ear is the center of balance and hearing, and while pretty robust on the outside, it is in fact an extremely fragile organ that should be cleaned very carefully. See a doctor or an audiologist to check that there are no ear blockages like wax or an infection that’s treatable.
** If you’re over 65, have your hearing tested every three years, or every 12 months if you have a family history.
** Avoid loud noise, or wear earplugs or ear protectors when using noisy garden equipment or power tools.
Above all, if you are having trouble hearing, do something about it. Be positive about the prospect of using a hearing device. These days they are unobtrusive and highly effective, and can make an incredible difference to your life.
As always, live life to its fullest
Katie Couric’s Notebook: Hearing Loss (CBS News)