A common perception of hearing loss is that it comes on suddenly as we grow older. The truth is hearing loss happens at such a slow rate that you may not even realize it’s happening to you. It’s been determined that a quarter of people with hearing loss aren’t even aware that they are experiencing it. Although it’s not always obvious, there are clues out there to help determine if it’s time for an audiology exam. Here are 10 signs of hearing loss to look out for so you can get the help that you need
Hearing loss and balance don’t seem to go hand in hand but it can be one of the warning signs. Hearing plays a big part in being able to orient yourself. This is because our equilibrium is managed by the inner ear so if it’s not working properly you may feel off balance or you can even have trouble staying upright.
Ringing in the Ears
One of the more obvious signs is a constant ringing sensation in your ears. This high-pitched ringing known as tinnitus becomes more difficult to deal with especially when you’re in quiet areas. Tinnitus can also sound like humming, a dull roar, rhythmic thumping, or a strange hiss.
Distracting Background Noise
Background noise can always be a distraction even to a person with perfect hearing. Those who don’t suffer from hearing loss can drown out the noise to a certain extent. If you’re suffering from hearing loss it can be almost impossible to filter through or ignore the excess noise in your surroundings as you once could.
If everyone around you all of a sudden seems to be mumbling when you once understood them clearly, this could be a result of hearing loss. If you’re able to hear vowels but everything else seems unclear this is a sign to look out for. It could happen more often when listening to women or children due to their high-pitched voices.
Difficulty hearing can make your brain begin to work in overdrive causing some noises to seem more profound. Hypersensitivity to specific noises is known as hyperacusis which can be a rare result of hearing loss. If you’re becoming sensitive to noises that normally wouldn’t bother you it’s most likely time for a hearing exam.
If you’re no longer able to focus during a conversation this can be another warning sign. If you’re usually not one to daydream it could mean you’re declining cognitively or beginning to lose your hearing. This is another example of your brain working extra hard to fix the problem. It’s especially difficult to follow when you’re taking part in group conversations.
You may also start forgetting the conversations you’re having alongside not being able to follow them. At first, you might think it’s memory loss but again it could be just another symptom of your brain working overtime. Not hearing the conversation clearly can also contribute to your forgetfulness.
Besides not being able to focus you may have a general feeling of being lost. This is because going through hearing loss can be mentally exhausting. Your normal tasks can become difficult to complete since you’re left with little mental energy. Hearing loss often comes in the form of many distractions.
Difficult Phone Calls
Losing your hearing can make phone calls no longer enjoyable. Phone calls or just conversing, in general, can add to your mental exhaustion. Sounds through the phone can be difficult to hear since they don’t match perfectly with regular speech. For someone with good hearing, this isn’t noticeable but it could be extremely bothersome to someone going through hearing loss.
Your loved ones can also begin to pick up on these changes that you’re going through. They may start to notice things like you watching television at a higher volume or having to repeat themselves during conversations. The loved ones surrounding you usually start to notice your symptoms first and will help you along your journey.
If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs above, it’s time to schedule an audiology exam. Coastal Hearing Care is here to support you every step of the way. Visit us at 5860 Ranch Lake Blvd Suite 110 in Lakewood Ranch. Contact us today at (941) 229-2122 to get the help you deserve!