For those who have a difficult time with hearing or have a family member who can barely hear, it might be an indication of a progressing case of hearing loss. But, unfortunately, hearing loss is often an invisible health condition since most typically overlook the initial signs.
The difference between hearing loss with other medical conditions is that you cannot physically see the problem. It’s important to note that the changes typically occur gradually. With this in mind, it’s common for a person with hearing loss to find ways to cope and end up being used to the diminished hearing acuity.
In most cases, family and close friends are the first to notice changes. An individual will not always perceive the need for hearing aids since hearing loss develops gradually. In most cases, the person is the last to know about the condition.
A Close Look At Hearing Loss
If a person has hearing loss, there’s difficulty in following conversations and understanding the voice of those around them. Many individuals with the condition typically complain that others are talking too fast or mumbling.
Hearing loss and tinnitus often go hand in hand. The accumulation of earwax, exposure to loud sounds, medications, and hearing loss can trigger tinnitus or ringing in the ears. In most cases, the ringing can vary from continuous or occasional, but it’s often the initial indication of hearing loss.
A person who has hearing loss might prefer one ear, sharing that they have a good ear. Some might request others to stand close to the better ear or speak straight into the ear. Those who have hearing loss might avoid challenging scenarios such as noisy environments or conversations over the phone.
Types Of Hearing Loss
There are three forms of hearing loss. Here are the differences between the three forms.
∙ With sensorineural hearing loss, it’s the most common type and develops when damage occurs to the interior ear nerves and hair cells, usually due to noise damage, age, or other factors. Hearing aids can help treat the condition.
∙ Conductive hearing loss is due to obstructions in the external or middle ear due to tumors and fluid or earwax buildup.
∙ With mixed hearing loss, it’s a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
What Are The Warning Signs Of Hearing Loss?
Most think that hearing loss is easy to identify, but it can be difficult to pinpoint if a person is suffering from the condition. The majority of individuals with hearing loss often experience difficulty only with specific sounds and in distinct scenarios. If you have normal hearing during certain circumstances, you’re likely to blame other elements or other individuals for the times that you’re having a hard time hearing.
Hearing loss typically manifests steadily over the years. With this in mind, it’s hard to detect the slow progression of the condition. A person with hearing loss can readily find fault with others for mumbling or turn on the volume of the TV higher than admitting the hearing difficulty.
As an outcome, the signs of hearing loss are difficult to pinpoint. It’s important to understand what to monitor. Although it’s effortless to deny you have hearing loss, it’s time, to be honest, once you’re experiencing the warning signs.
Here are the warning signs of hearing loss to observe if you’re suspecting the condition. If you recognize any of these, it might be time to see a doctor for further testing.
1. Buzzing Or Ringing In The Ears
The ringing in the ears or tinnitus might be an indicator of a lasting hearing injury. In such instances, the doctor might recommend hearing aids that’ll help you hear better and get rid of the undesirable ringing in the ears.
2. Finding It Hard To Understand Or Comprehend The Dialogue On The TV
One of the initial signs of hearing loss is difficulty hearing speech than other types of sound. A person has a hard time following the plot in movies or TV shows.
3. Maxing Out The Volume On Your Phone, TV, Or Radio
If you can perceive phone, TV, or radio much better than personal conversations, it’s best to check the volume settings on your devices. You likely have these devices at a higher volume level while also thinking that everyone else talks too quietly.
4. Unable To Hear Normal Household Sounds
When you have hearing loss, it can be hard to hear a ringing phone, the doorbell, or someone calling out your name from another room.
5. Requesting Others To Repeat Themselves Regularly
You often notice that you end up saying “what?” most of the time. In some cases, you have to ask people to repeat themselves when you’re not facing them.
6. Difficulty Hearing Words During A Conversation
Certain letters and sounds are challenging to hear than others. As a result, you’ll listen to most of the words in sentences, but you frequently have to complete the blanks now and then.
7. Frequently Misunderstanding What Others Are Saying
Since consonants have a higher pitch, they are harder to hear than vowels. In addition, since consonants transmit most of the meaning in sentences, it affects the speech comprehension of the person.
8. Finding It Hard To Hear When Your Back Is To The Speaker
In some individuals, they rely on non-verbal communication, lip-reading, and other tips. If you’re not looking at the speaking person and cannot utilize these hints, you’ll have difficulty understanding speech.
9. Difficulty Hearing When There Is Background Noise
As hearing loss progresses, any interference or background noise in the environment can worsen the problem. You might be able to hear speech in peaceful settings, but it becomes evidently hard to pay attention to conversations in environments with background noise, such as public venues or restaurants.
10. Others Claim That You Shout
Your family members or friends might comment you have the tendency to yell. However, it doesn’t feel this way for you since you’re compensating for your hearing loss.
Hearing loss can disrupt your quality of life if you don’t take the necessary steps. Once you or a family member shows the warning signs of hearing loss, it might be best to see a hearing healthcare professional to undergo an assessment and determine which hearing device works best for the severity of your hearing loss, budget and lifestyle.
Even if you’re not experiencing any of these signs, don’t wait for any issues to arise. Instead, make sure you treat your hearing in the same way as your vision or overall health by scheduling yearly hearing exams with a professional.