As aging takes progression we begin to notice small details about things within our bodies that aren’t quite the same anymore. The first sense to depart from us usually is our hearing and creates a condition called hearing impairment; or deafness. One day we can hear the raindrops on the window seal and the next, well, we are informed of our selectiveness to listen. These issues can be caused by genetics, trauma, or just natural progression of old age.

In the U.S. alone over ten million people use hearing aids on a daily basis to function. How we come to know this is by research done over the years by doctors who take pride in helping others be able to hear again. They have discovered three types of hearing loss called conductive, sensorineural, and mixed.

With these conditions, the causes of hearing impairment are created in different sections of the ear. There are other known factors that can temporarily reduce sound, like excessive earwax, but do not completely impair the vibrations of sound to echo throughout your canal. Unfortunately, you can not reverse most of the symptoms from hearing impairment, but by wearing a hearing device you can hear the world around you.

A sign that may indicate its time to see an audiologist is muffling of speech when someone is speaking to you. Another is if it becomes difficult to understand words, especially when you have background noise or when you’re in a crowd. If being able to hear consonants during a sermon or public event becomes troubling, this might be a sign to have your hearing checked.

Additionally, if you catch yourself asking other people to speak more slowly or loudly, needing the volume turned up on the radio or tv to hear what’s taking place, this too can be a key indicator you have hearing impairment concerns. Making sure you have a regular hearing test could help prevent long-term damage if caught in the early stages. Avoiding social settings will only prolong the inevitable and can cause you more suffering in the end.