There are few things more distressing than sudden hearing loss. One week you can hear everything being said, the sound from your TV or radio, music playing and birdsong in the countryside, the next it has gone.
It is a distressing thing to suffer and something that has hit the headlines with news that singer-songwriter Paul Simon has been enduring exactly such a loss of hearing in his left ear, which means he currently cannot perform live. He revealed the problem in an interview with the Sunday Times about his latest album Seven Psalms.
The loss occurred while compiling the album and the 81-year-old remarked that it happened “quite suddenly” and, so far, nobody has been able to explain it.
He added: “My reaction to that was frustration and annoyance; not quite anger yet, because I thought it would pass, it would repair itself.” Simon has had to swap his residence in noisy New York for a quiet ranch in rural Texas to make hearing easier.
While Paul Simon seeks an explanation for his issue, it is worth noting that if you book a free hearing test you may avoid a similar fate, as a loss of hearing usually does have an explanation and often taking preventative measures beforehand can help.
As Medscape notes, one form of this condition is Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, which tends to happen to people in middle age and is usually treated by steroids. It can often be accompanied by vertigo and tinnitus. Most of those who enjoy a full and sudden recovery on their own do so within 30 days.
Such symptoms could be one way of telling if a problem may be emerging, while the fact that some forms of sudden hearing loss can occur in your 40s shows you don’t need to wait to reach Paul Simon’s age before getting a test.