What are the five signs of hearing loss and when should you see an audiologist?
Hearing loss can occur when any component of the ear is not functioning normally. Any issues with the hearing (acoustic) nerve, middle ear, inner ear, outer ear, and auditory system may trigger hearing loss.
The nerve cells or tiny hairs in the cochlea that transmit sound impulses to the brain may deteriorate with age or exposure to loud noise. Hearing loss results from the ineffective transmission of electrical impulses when the delicate nerve endings are lost.
Why You Should Take Note of Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Taking note of early signs of hearing loss is crucial for several reasons. First, addressing hearing loss early can lead to more effective treatment options, potentially preventing further deterioration. It also enhances the overall quality of life, as untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation, communication difficulties, and emotional distress.
Furthermore, hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline, so early intervention may help protect cognitive health. Timely recognition of hearing loss is essential for maintaining relationships, mental well-being, and overall functionality, making it a matter of both personal and public health significance.
Increasing the volume more than usual
Have you increased the TV, radio, or earbud volume more than usual? Have you ever been requested to turn down the TV because it’s too loud for your companions in the same room?
Although you might be able to ignore these minor details, you should have your hearing checked if you discover that they are occurring more frequently. There’s a common observation that other people are the first ones to notice early signs of hearing loss, mostly a spouse, close friend, or someone you interact with on a daily basis.
Don’t be offended if they comment about your possible hearing problems. Take this constructively and make it your sign to see an audiologist.
Statistics show that one in five patients with hearing loss also experience tinnitus. Nearly 90% of people who have tinnitus are also diagnosed with hearing loss. The mimicking of the hearing loss pattern by tinnitus is thought to be the link between the two conditions.
Tinnitus may be mild and manageable for some people, but regardless of the mildness or severity of the condition, it needs to be checked to rule out any other underlying medical condition.
Hearing distorted or muffled sounds
Muffled hearing may be common if you have a cold, hay fever, or allergies. The muted hearing is usually caused by congestion and typically gets better on its own. However, you should get a consultation if you are experiencing muffled hearing with no other symptoms.
Hearing distortion may also result from impacted earwax, which could cause an obstruction in the ear canal. Your hearing may be compromised or impaired if you have ear wax buildup over time. An audiologist can check your ears for any physical obstruction that may be affecting your hearing.
Struggling to hear even with minimal background noise
If you have hearing issues, it could be more challenging for you to interact with people. If you have trouble hearing conversations when there is background noise, it’s likely that your ears have trouble reducing outside noise. Experiencing hearing difficulty, especially in situations with minimal background noise, is a precursor to moderate hearing loss or impairment with auditory processing.
Avoiding social interactions
People with hearing loss are more likely to experience social isolation. When hearing becomes a problem, people typically decide to retreat and keep their distance rather than take part in social, academic, or professional contexts where interaction is necessary. Hearing loss can cause psychological and social issues that affect one’s feelings and society if it is not remedied.
If you have hearing loss, it can be challenging to appreciate and take part in many of life’s most cherished activities, such as hearing a loved one’s voice or laughter, engaging in meaningful conversation with your spouse, family, and friends, admiring the sounds of nature, and watching your favorite movies or TV shows.
Hearing Tests in North Carolina
If you suspect that you or a loved one have early signs of hearing loss, it’s time for you to schedule an appointment with a trusted and reliable audiologist to get your hearing tested.
Hearing Solutions of NC offers comprehensive hearing tests in Salisbury, NC, and nearby communities.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!