Hearing loss is an invisible condition, meaning that even though it is classified as a disability, people may not know you have it. Even more frustrating, it is all too common for hearing loss to sneak up on people over the years. This is because hearing loss often occurs slowly and the signs of hearing loss may not be noticed until the condition is at severe or profound levels. At first, it may only affect subtle sounds you don’t even notice are gone. It may be years before someone you are with mentions the birds chirping or the sound of the wind in the trees and you realize you can’t hear these sounds.
It often takes people seven to ten years from the time they start to suspect they have hearing loss to actually treat it. This means that even if you may be experiencing some signs of hearing loss, it is all too easy to live in denial. However, the sooner you treat this condition, the sooner you can begin to reverse some of the negative side effects of this condition. This includes rifts in relationships due to communication issues, chronic depression, cognitive decline, and a higher risk of falls. The first step is knowing how to identify the early signs of hearing loss.
Below, we discuss the common signs of hearing loss:
You ask people to repeat themselves
One of the most common signs of hearing loss is the need to ask people to repeat themselves. This can happen to anyone, but if you start to realize that this is the normal, rather than the exception, than it’s a sure sign that it is time to have your hearing checked. Certain tones or pitches are often the first to degrade in the early stages of hearing loss. This means that only parts of words or sentences will be processed by the brain. Often certain people will speak in a pitch which is too high or too low for you to process.
Trouble hearing in noise
It can be hard for anyone to hear in a noisy room but if you find yourself struggling to hear in a loud and bustling store, at a busy restaurant or a party it may indicate hearing loss. Often this type of hearing loss will surface before others. It is particularly prominent among a younger generation who has been exposed to loud noise due to loud concerts and the misuse of headphones at too high of a volume.
You believe people are mumbling
It is all too common to blame your hearing loss on others rather than yourself. You may feel like that person who speaks in a tone just out of your hearing range mumbles while it is actually an issue that can be fixed when you wear hearing aids. If you seem to perceive people as mumbling, consider this as one of the signs of hearing loss and observe the frequency and progression.
Difficulty hearing over the phone
Telephones can be difficult for people with hearing loss. You may find that you have turned the volume all the way up and still struggle to hear. This is in part because people with hearing loss unconsciously begin to rely on visual cues to help them hear, such as lip reading, body language and facial expression. Since these don’t come through when mere audio is present, a hearing loss may feel more prominent.
Arguments over the volume
One of the most common conflicts which seems to haunt domestic relationships where at least one person has hearing loss, is constant arguments over the volume of the TV. This may also be the radio or other audio device. As people’s hearing loss develops, they will want to turn the volume up louder to compensate and not even notice. If others complain that you turn the TV up too loud and you feel like it’s fine, it is time to schedule a hearing test.
Addressing signs of hearing loss
There are many scenarios which you may experience with undiagnosed hearing loss. For instance, you may find that you have been bluffing when people speak to you, often guessing wrong and causing awkward social interactions. If this is the case, then it is time to be honest with yourself.
Have you been cutting out social interactions and engagements due to the anxiety of not being able to hear? Do you feel like you just don’t feel a part of social situations anymore?
We urge you not to ignore signs of hearing loss!
These are serious issues that can progress into even more serious emotional and physical health issues.
Call and make an appointment with us to have your hearing tested today. We can help you find the best treatment for your hearing loss and help you get in control of your life and your health again!