If you are worried that you might have hearing loss, you aren’t alone. Many people lose their hearing slowly as they age.
- 1 in 3 Americans between ages 65 and 74 has a hearing problem.
- Almost 1 in 2 Americans over age 75 has a hearing problem.
Start by asking your doctor for a hearing test. Depending on your test results, your doctor may refer you to a hearing specialist.
Hearing problems are serious.
Hearing loss can be frustrating and even dangerous. If you have hearing loss, you may:
- Have trouble hearing doorbells or alarms
- Miss important directions or warnings
- Feel lonely or depressed
Hearing problems can get worse if they aren’t treated. That’s why it’s important to get your hearing checked.
If you find out you have a hearing problem, you can take steps to deal with it before it gets worse.
How do I know if I have hearing loss?
- Do you often ask people to repeat themselves?
- Do you hear ringing in your ears?
- Do people say your TV is too loud?
- Do you have trouble hearing on the telephone?
- Do you have trouble hearing when there’s noise in the background?
If you answered yes to some of these questions, you may have hearing loss. Take this quiz to find out if you might have a hearing problem.
Learn more about hearing loss:
- Information for older adults
- Facts about tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
How is hearing loss treated?
There are many products that can help with hearing loss:
- Hearing aids you wear in or behind your ear
- Special phones that make sounds louder
- Tools to help you hear in places like a classroom or theater (called assistive listening devices)
- TVs that also show text (called closed captioning)
- Flashing lights to let you know when an alarm or doorbell is ringing
If you think you have hearing loss, start by seeing a doctor. Find out which treatment options are right for you.
Take steps to find out if you have hearing loss.
Ask your doctor about a hearing test.
If you are worried about your hearing, talk to a doctor. Call your doctor or health center and make an appointment for a hearing test.
Talk to your friends and family.
If you have trouble hearing, your friends and family need to know. They can make small changes to help you hear better when they talk. Ask them to:
- Find a quiet place to talk where there isn’t a lot of background noise
- Face you and talk clearly
- Speak slowly
- Keep their hands away from their mouths while they talk
- Avoid eating or chewing gum while talking with you
- Repeat what they said if you didn’t hear it the first time
- Write down important information for you
Protect your ears from loud noises.
Wear earplugs or special earmuffs if you need to be around loud noises, like at a construction site or concert. This can help prevent damage to your hearing.