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How sharp is your hearing? Can you hear people, but find it is not easy to understand what they are saying? When you go out with friends, is it difficult for you to make out what people are saying? Do family or friends ask you to turn the volume down on the television when they come to visit you? Is it easier to understand what people are saying to you if you can see them? Do you find it tiring to talk with people for a long time?
If you have experienced any of these situations, then you may be suffering from some form of damage to your hearing. You may be surprised to learn how common hearing loss is. Hearing loss affects approximately 50 million Americans. This affects people from all kinds of backgrounds: 20% of teenagers are thought to be affected through listening to loud music, 60% of active military personnel, and more veterans, have some level of hearing impairment, and millions of workers employed in loud environments, such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture, are victims.
When many people realize they are having trouble hearing clearly, they are reluctant to see a hearing specialist or take a hearing test. As a result, their lifestyle may start to change. They avoid places where acute hearing is important. They start to withdraw from friendships as they are embarrassed to show that they cannot hear properly.
Confronting hearing loss will normally yield positive results. A hearing specialist can assess your hearing impairment and recommend the best ways to improve your situation. This often involves wearing a hearing device. Other coping strategies can be introduced, such as where best to stand to listen to people in noisy environments. With improved hearing comes an improvement in your quality of life. Your work performance can improve. You can return to social circles. You can go to the movies again.
People who work where they experience sustained loud noise and do not wear protection for their ears are particularly vulnerable to hearing loss. The kinds of jobs where workers are most at risk include manufacturing, construction, military service and agriculture. If you work in a loud environment, it is recommended you have your hearing tested, even if you feel you do not have a problem or that your problem is not serious.
Living with impaired hearing is not easy. If you think you suffer from hearing loss, take a hearing test. A hearing test is painless and will only take up an hour of your time. Take this first step on the path back to a healthier and more fulfilling life.