Signs You Are Experiencing Hearing Loss
If you experience hearing loss, it will typically come on gradually, and as it does, you’ll tend to make unconscious adjustments along the way. For these reasons, hearing loss is often labeled as a “hidden disorder”. The causes of hearing loss are divided into two broad categories-conductive and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss is caused by obstructions such as wax buildup, perforation of the eardrum, tumors, and infections while sensorineural is a result of aging, certain diseases, excessive exposure to loud noises, and genetics. Let the following signs help you determine if you have hearing loss.
Do you find yourself frequently asking, “What did you say?” If it seems people are mumbling or certain words are hard to understand, you may be experiencing hearing loss. Hearing high-frequency sounds is especially common with age. You may have difficulty hearing children and women since they speak at a higher pitch. Since telephone transmission isn’t perfect, a phone conversation may be harder to follow. You may find yourself resorting to texting as an unconscious adjustment.
Are you having trouble hearing in noisy places? Restaurants are especially problematic since there is usually lots of background noise like multiple conversations, clinking dishes, and music. You’ll find it hard to mask out background noise and focus on a conversation at your table.
Are you beginning to avoid social gatherings? Music, laughter, and loud, passionate speech are competing sounds that make it harder to navigate conversations. It will be especially hard to follow a conversation when more than one person is talking. The stress of straining to hear and misunderstandings become exhausting so you choose to opt out. A day of conversing with co-workers can leave you with physical symptoms such as fatigue and a tension headache. You become frustrated, perhaps angry, that you can’t understand what people are saying.
Do you constantly turn up the volume control setting on your TV, phone, or other devices? You may battle with family members or close neighbors over the volume level of TV programs or music. Additionally, programs can be hard to follow, especially when background music drowns out the dialogue. Turning up the volume will make no difference.
Finally, are your ears ringing? Tinnitus can occur at any age and is often the first sign that you may have a hearing loss. It’s usually attributed to overexposure to loud noise, trauma, or illness. Tinnitus not only causes an annoyance, it leads to hearing loss in 56 percent of the people who suffer from it.
Many people will recognize one or two of these symptoms over time. It can be challenging to follow a conversation in a noisy, crowded environment. Fatigue and a lack of sleep can interfere with all the senses. However, frequently noticing a few of these common signs likely indicates a hearing loss. Fortunately, healthcare professionals can help get your hearing back to your best.