It’s one of those dreaded things that happens to many women, at various stages of life: you suddenly notice that your hearing seems to be diminished. You’re asking your partner to turn up the TV or notice that the car radio, which has been stuck on a certain volume for years, suddenly isn’t loud enough. You’re wanting people to repeat themselves. You realize that it isn’t everything and everyone else. Hearing loss in women happens, and when it happens to you, what are you to do?
The first thing to do when you notice hearing loss is not to panic. Instead, look into causes and treatments to help improve your quality of life.
Causes of hearing loss
Hearing loss in women can be due to a variety of factors:
- Injury or trauma, such as a perforated eardrum from a flight
- Outside factors, such as listening to headphones too loud or not using ear plugs at rock shows
- Hereditary conditions
There’s no way of knowing what is causing your diminished hearing, or how severely you are/will be affected until you visit a doctor. So, your second course of action, after reminding yourself not to panic, should be contacting a healthcare professional.
Hearing loss in women: Seeing a doctor
At the consultation, you’ll speak with the professional about the symptoms you’re experiencing. Be sure to mention any of the following symptoms that you are experiencing:
- Ringing or buzzing
- Dizziness or balance issues
- Any pain you might feel
The doctor will go through your medical history and get a diagnosis as to what is causing your auditory impairment. Then, you’ll speak with the doctor about the various types of treatment options.
For some people, treatments can be as simple as getting a hearing aid or device. Rest assured that there are many different types of aids out there, and many of them are almost completely invisible.
Types of hearing aids include:
- Inner ear
- Behind the ear
- Open fit
- And others
Most of the treatments are affordable and easy to use, and they will restore a good deal of your hearing. Take the time to learn more about the different types of hearing aids and which one is best for your needs, budget and preferences. The doctor can help advise you on what is most suitable for you.
For those for whom hearing aids are not necessary or viable, you may discuss the possibility of surgery with the medical professional. There are a number of procedures for qualifying patients that can restore some or all of your hearing.
For those women with hearing loss of whom surgery and hearing aids are not suitable, you can also discuss alternative methods, treatments and resources with your doctor. Other accessibility aids and services are available.
Final words on hearing loss in women
Don’t suffer with hearing loss a day more than you have to as it compromises your ability to enjoy all aspects of life. Too many people avoid seeing a doctor for this issue, worried it makes them look frail or weak, that they are prematurely aging, or simply because they are embarrassed to be seen with a hearing aid.
But it’s time to take care of your five senses as you age or after an injury. Making an appointment with your doctor ASAP is super important to your health and overall well-being.
Please note that I understand this issue affects men as much as women. This blog focuses on female-centric issues and inspiration so that’s why I’m all about the women with this post. Ahem, I’m just saying I’m not ignoring men, as commenters have suggested to me in the past. Thanks for being here.
1 thought on “Hearing loss in women: Exploring your options”
Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been losing my hearing progressively throughout my adult life. I first started confusing words/names when I was 20-21. By age 30, I asked my husband if I had him repeat things a lot, and he said yes. So at 31, I went for an exam, and it showed significant loss in both ears. By age 33, I qualified for—-and got—hearing aids through the state (Texas). I only find my hearing aids especially useful for lectures and conferences. Now I’m almost 43. I use closed captioning for TV, movies, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. I read lips a lot, and although I still have a fair amount of hearing, I’m in the process of learning sign language (ASL) for if/when I reach that point, if no other options are available/affordable (I have no health insurance), as my loss is progressive.
The nature of my hearing loss is autoimmune, in which my immune system is slowly attacking and destroying my inner ear. I have found that monosodium glutamate (MSG) and all of its relatives are major triggers for transient hearing loss, and they affect me greatly, so I strictly avoid them. I also find that alcohol and opiate medication (which I’ve only had to take for a week) diminish my hearing temporarily, as does marijuana (which I’ve only had a small handful of times) lol. I’m sure there are other triggers that I have yet to identify.
Just sharing this in case it helps anyone 😊