Would you be surprised that hearing loss affects interpersonal relationships? Who hasn't watched a colleague, loved one or friend ask for hearing losssentences to be repeated or complain that too many people are talking at once? Unfortunately, hearing loss also can lead to cognitive problems and even depression. So your otolaryngologists and audiologists at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, CA, ask you to know and recognize the early signs of hearing loss so that you or a family member can receive the best in hearing care.

Signs of hearing loss

The American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association states that hearing loss has hereditary and age-related components. However, environmental factors, such as exposure to loud noise and music, some prescription drugs, trauma, ear wax (cerumen) accumulation and autoimmune disorders can temporarily or permanently reduce hearing in one or both ears.

If you think you have a hearing problem, here's what to look for:

  • Tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing noise
  • Perceiving speech to be muffled, especially when listening to children or women, who typically have high-pitched voices
  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Avoiding parties, meetings and family gatherings
  • Having difficulty hearing conversations in crowded rooms
  • Turning up the volume on your phone, radio, TV or other audio devices
  • Feeling exceptionally tired after attending a social event

If you are experiencing one or more these symptoms of hearing loss, contact your ear, nose and throat physician in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks for a consultation.

Our doctors of audiology can perform tests which evaluate how well you hear various kinds of sounds, including those conducted through bone and through the air. Additionally, they assess how well a person distinguishes various kinds of sounds, how well the middle ear functions and even if the ear canals are blocked with wax.

Tips to minimize hearing loss

At West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat, the professional team recommends some simple strategies to avoid hearing loss. They include:

  • Use an over-the-counter ear wax kit to flush out cerumen accumulation on a regular basis, but do not insert cotton-tipped swabs or other pointed objects into the ear canal.
  • Stop smoking. Tobacco users have a higher incidence of hearing problems.
  • Avoid noise, especially on the job. If you have a loud occupation, such as heavy machinery operator, your employer should provide you with adequate ear protection.
  • Check your meds with your prescriber or physician to see if they have side effects related to the ears.
  • Get routine hearing screening every year beginning at age 50, or sooner if you notice symptoms.

Find out more

Preserve one of your greatest assets: your hearing. To arrange a hearing consultation with one of our physicians, call West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Simi Valley, Ventura County, Camarillo, and Thousand Oaks, CA, at (805) 379-9646.