It sneaks up on you as you age, almost imperceptibly, at first. Then it can ruin your life unless you do something about it.
At first, you start missing high pitched sounds. Words seem too softly spoken to you. S and th-sounds become unclear as does a child's or a woman's voice. As your hearing loss worsens, you adapt and turn up your TV. You ask people to please repeat what they just said. Slowly but surely, frustration grows in and around you. You avoid the situations that put you on the spot, the group conversations in which you feel left out, the interactions with colleagues and relatives that often lead to shrugs of their shoulders and deep irritation. The frustration turns to embarrassment or, worse, bitterness and loneliness. In the end, you withdraw into a shell of silence.
We all know this scenario, first-hand from our own experience or through a parent, grand-parent or other close relative or friend. But the good news is that treatment is available and is becoming increasingly effective.
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