According to otolaryngologist Dr. Ian Storper, about 40 percent of people have some hearing loss by the time they are 65. Dr. Storper talks with Dr. Oz about some of the causes of and solutions to hearing loss.
You may be the first person to notice that you're having a hard time hearing, but Dr. Storper says your spouse or co-workers may pick up on the problem even before you do. If you detect that you are having difficulties hearing, Dr. Storper says that you should visit your family doctor. "Many times it's just wax that's in the way," Dr. Storper says. "But if there is any question at all, and things are not clear, I really recommend a referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist."
Removing wax from the ear can be done easily with over-the-counter ear drops if you have a small amount of wax inside, Dr. Storper says. Larger plugs of wax should be removed professionally, with a doctor using special tools, he says.
If wax isn't the problem, taking a hearing test to determine if you need an aid should be your next step, Dr. Storper says. Hearing aid technology is better than ever before, he says, with many of the devices now being digital. "It is programmed to amplify different frequencies preferentially customized to the patients own hearing tests," Dr. Storper says.
In order to keep your hearing the best that it can be, Dr. Storper offers these tips:
If you work in a loud environment, wear earplugs or other forms of ear protection daily.
If you experience a noise that sounds uncomfortable in any way, Dr. Storper says you should avoid it because it could affect your hearing.
If you use earbud headphones, keep the volume a little lower than you normally would, otherwise Dr. Storper says you could risk inducing hearing loss.