Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common physical condition in older adults? However, that doesn't mean it's just an older adult's problem, either. Some affected are children with mild-to-moderate hearing problems, and others are young adults who can't hear as well as they used to because they spend a lot of time listening to loud music or at noisy work sites.

Which Ear is Experiencing Hearing Loss

If you are experiencing hearing loss, it can be challenging to identify which ear is being affected. The easiest way to tell if one of your ears has a problem is to have a hearing test. However, you may never have known you had hearing loss if it's just one ear that is impacted and not the other, or if your ears are symmetrical in their level of hearing ability.

The Extent of Ear Damage

The results from the hearing instrument specialist’s (HIS) office will show you the extent of damage and the source in each ear. The scope of ear damage can also include changes to speech recognition depending on which parts of your brain have been affected. 

The extent of ear damage can range from very mild to profound, and it's best to get your hearing checked as soon as possible if you think there may be a problem with your ears. It's always crucial for professionals to know the full extent of any health problem to give the most accurate diagnosis or treatment plan. 

Possible Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing test results can help diagnose the cause of hearing loss and rule out any other possible causes. There are three leading causes of hearing loss: noise-induced, age-related or disease.

Noise-induced hearing loss is common in people who work in jobs that involve loud noises. It can be a result of events such as concerts, sporting events or gunfire. This type of hearing loss may not start until years after the initial exposure to noise and usually begins with high-pitched sounds before progressing into a full range of frequencies.

Aging causes hearing loss by the gradual accumulation of earwax, hair and skin cells. In addition, genetics or medical conditions such as an autoimmune disorder known as lupus can also cause hearing loss. The disease can also cause a person to experience hearing problems. Some conditions that may lead to these symptoms include otosclerosis and Meniere's disease. 

A person who experiences any of these three causes will likely have their hearing tested. These tests can diagnose a problem and rule out other possible causes of hearing loss.

Hearing tests are essential and, in many ways a life-changing, part of staying healthy. Unfortunately, if you don't have hearing loss now, it's possible that one day your hearing will get worse as you age. Fortunately, there are methods for preventing this from happening to you! And if any problems do arise down the road, you'll be able to detect them before they get worse.