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Dealing with hearing loss

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Are you starting to notice that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to?

Maybe you are having to ask people to repeat themselves more often. Maybe you are having to raise the volume on the TV or on TPR more than ever before. Or perhaps you have trouble understanding speech in noisy environments like in a restaurant. Or do you have a constant ringing in your ear?

Hearing loss is a common condition that affects people of all ages. However, it is more common in older adults. About one in three people in the U.S. between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss. And nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.

If you think you have hearing loss, it is important to see an audiologist for a hearing test. An audiologist can diagnose the cause of your hearing loss and recommend the best treatment option for you.

Aside from age, there are a number of other factors that can contribute to hearing loss, including exposure to loud noise. Loud noise can damage the hair cells in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss. Certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs, can cause hearing loss. Some diseases like diabetes also can lead to hearing loss.

Unfortunately we do have a stigma attached to hearing loss in our society and that can be a barrier for many to seek out help.

But help is available and it can make a world of difference in your day to day. It can prevent further hearing damage and improve your quality of life.


Douglas L. Beck, MD is a San Antonio audiologist Au.D. F-AAA, CCC-A

Brian Perry, MD, is a clinical professor of otolaryngology - head and neck surgery in the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Perry is a specialist in otology, the study of the anatomy and diseases of the ear, and a specialist in neurotology, the provision of surgical care to treat conditions related to hearing and balance.

Sarah Ammerman, PhD, CED, is an associate professor in the Deaf Education and Hearing Science Program at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Ammerman is recognized as a national leader in the field of deaf education for children with an emphasis on listening and spoken language.

*This interview will be recorded on Tuesday, August 8.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi