People with good hearing may assume that hearing loss would appear in an obvious way. You wake up and you can’t hear. You hear only out of one side. Sounds are suddenly dull or absent. In cases of sudden loss of hearing, these examples ring true. People call our office in a state of concern and hopefully get rapid diagnosis and treatment. However, this scenario is not at all typical of our patients. It turns out hearing loss is often less obvious to the patient as it would seem.

woman with hand over her very red and irritated ear

Market research has shown the average time lag between suspecting a problem with hearing and getting help is seven years. This may seem like an exaggeration; however, this is demonstrated by new patients frequently when we first talk to them. Family members typically suspect a problem before the patient is aware. New patients will even deny having any problems hearing, while repeatedly asking us to repeat our questions.

Hearing loss is insidious and tends to sneak up on people. It is a gradual process. You don’t notice your own children growing as much as relatives who don’t see them as often. Similarly, you don’t tend to notice minute changes in hearing until it affects communication. Also, it’s convenient to turn up the volume of TV or the radio. If we don’t see the TV screen or the road, there is no quick adjustment. We get help immediately. Hearing loss is simply not as obvious to the patient.

The take-home message: you may have loss of hearing without being aware of it. If you are reading this blog, you most likely have concern for your own or someone else’s hearing. If you suspect loss, get it checked. If others tell you that you are not hearing them, get it checked. If you are using more volume for television than before, get it checked. If you have been embarrassed that you misunderstood something, get it checked. If you feel isolated in a crowd and unable to pick up conversation, get it checked. If loud sounds bother you more than before, get it checked. If you have tinnitus, get it checked. If you “hear but don’t understand” people, get it checked. Even if your hearing turns out fine, you will have a baseline to compare to later.

Do not wait seven years. Stay in the game. Help is available. We can help. As always, at Clear Choice Hearing and Balance, we wish to keep you on a clear path to good hearing and ear health. We’re located in Greece and Brighton, and proudly serve those throughout the Rochester area. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your hearing.