The degree of hearing loss ranges from mild to partially severe and profound. Mild hearing loss can happen over time, is often painless, and may progress without you realizing it. It can occur in one or both ears. Although mild hearing loss may not always be profound, it may sometimes be a symptom of another condition and may not always be harmless. Therefore, it’s best to spot it early enough so you can visit a hearing instrument specialist (HIS), have a thorough hearing test or seek expert opinion to identify how best to manage it and prevent it from worsening.
What Is Mild Hearing Loss?
Experts describe the mild hearing loss as not being able to detect sounds lower than 15 decibels for children and around 25 decibels for older people. Examples of sounds you may not hear immediately are whispering during conversations, birds chirping or steps on a carpet.
Causes of Mild Hearing Loss
You can experience mild hearing loss due to some factors such as:
Studies reveal that about a third of adults within the age range of 65-70 may experience some level of hearing loss. This cause of hearing loss occurs gradually over the years and usually happens in both ears. It’s also one of the most common causes of hearing loss, be it mild or severe.
Exposure to Loud Noise Over a Long Period
You may experience mild hearing loss due to your work environment, daily habits such as prolonged use of earphones and constantly listening to loud music and hobbies such as attending loud concerts and motorcycling. It’s best to use protective gear in your work environment if there’s a lot of noise, primarily if you work in sectors such as construction, manufacturing.
It would help if you also controlled the volume at which you often listen to music. Additionally, you should try and identify ways by which you can enjoy your favorite hobbies without putting your hearing at risk.
Accumulation of Earwax
This cause is often temporary. Sometimes, earwax may naturally build up in your ear. However, it’s best to get it cleaned professionally instead of pushing objects such as cotton swabs in your ear.
Hereditary factors and infections causing earache, discharge from your ear, are other likely causes of mild hearing loss.
If you can have clear conversations in a quiet environment but strain more when there’s noise, it could indicate mild hearing loss. Additionally, it may be easier to distinguish louder voices and tones from quieter ones and people will need to stand closer to you or face you directly before you can hear them. As a result, you may often ask people to repeat themselves or speak more slowly, or you may avoid conversations altogether.
Having to Increase the Volume of Your Radio or Television
Due to the mild hearing loss, you may often increase the volume when listening to the radio or watching tv to hear things clearly. Doing this may expose you to excessive noise, which could further aggravate your mild hearing loss.
Experiencing mild hearing loss may sometimes cause you to feel misunderstood and prefer to avoid conversations altogether because you don’t want to keep asking people to repeat themselves. However, there are ways to help enhance your hearing, so you can live life to the fullest and not miss out on anything.
How to Treat Mild Hearing Loss
It’s best to seek a professional opinion immediately after you experience any of the signs listed above. It’s best to be on the safer side by getting a thorough examination right away so you can eventually restore your hearing or manage it effectively. It would also help if you were more conscious of the environment you find yourself in, so you avoid activities that could negatively impact your hearing.
You can schedule a visit to a HIS to determine whether you’ll need a hearing aid and which type will be best for you to enhance your hearing. These hearing devices could either be placed behind your ear (BTE), in your canal (ITC) or in your ear (ITE).
You can find out more about the best hearing aid for you by visiting or calling The Hearing Aid Place at 510-768-7091.