Sometimes a simple problem can cause a major health scare.
A few weeks ago, my mother was struggling to hear and even navigate around her home. She was hit with a severe dizzy spell, and after it did not subside for a day, decided to visit her doctor.
The doctor took a look and identified her problem instantly: she was having trouble with hearing and her equilibrium because one of her ears was filled with wax.
She was shocked, but the doctor assured her it could be easily taken care of and she’d be on her way.
What surprised her most was that her ear had filled with wax that had become impacted. She doesn’t use q-tips and practices good ear health.
The doctor said it can just happen with age. Most people, he said, rarely notice.
In any event, she had her ear flushed at the doctor’s office and was back to her daily life that afternoon.
Hearing loss can sometimes be a little more complex. My father, for example, was having trouble hearing a few years ago and the doctor determined he had liquid dripping into his ear. A stint was installed and he has since restored his hearing.
Both cases are certainly scary, but both had a relatively easy fix.
Taking care of your ears and acting on it when you realize hearing is dropping off can pay off. First, it may offer a quick fix. Second, it can prevent problems from getting worse. Third, it can help maintain hearing at a high level.
Hearing at a high level can play a major role in mental health. When lost hearing is ignored, it can promote social isolation, low self-esteem, and depression. Poor hearing is also associated with dementia risk.