Do you think you might have hearing loss? Have you been struggling to hear in several listening environments, or feel that your hearing just isn’t as sharp as it once was? Here are some of the most common signs of hearing loss. If you identify any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s time to book a hearing test and take control of your hearing health.
Listen to Your Loved Ones
Identifying the early signs of hearing loss can be difficult. You may think you’d be the first to know if you have hearing loss, but that’s not actually true. Hearing loss can be sudden, but more often than not, hearing loss is a gradual process, and you might not notice the day to day changes in your hearing health. You make unconscious accommodations for your hearing loss, and don’t realize how bad it’s getting. Your loved ones will usually identify the signs of hearing loss before you do, so if your family has been complaining that you can’t hear as well as you used to, take it very seriously, and look for more signs of hearing loss.
Losing High-Pitched Sounds
The first sounds to be affected by hearing loss are usually high-pitched sounds. The voices of children, or the birds chirping outside, are harder to hear. You may sleep through the beeping of your high-pitched alarm clock, or fail to hear the stove timer. Conversations will be harder to follow, since the consonant sounds are higher pitched and harder to differentiate. You’ll feel as though you can hear every word, but the words just won’t make sense.
Have you stopped listening to music? Does the music seem thin, and not give you that full, rich sound you’re used to? This is another sign of hearing loss, and since you can’t hear the high-pitched sounds, the music loses its warm, full sound.
Turning Up the Volume
One of the earliest signs of hearing loss is turning up the volume on your TV and phone. Your family will complain that the TV is far too loud, while you still feel it could be a bit louder. You’ve started watching TV with subtitles, and avoid answering the phone because you just can’t hear. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to stop blaming the TV, or the person on the other end of the line, and face the fact that you have hearing loss.
Straining to Hear in Background Noise
Another sign of hearing loss is straining to follow conversations in places with a lot of background noise. When you have hearing loss, you’re not receiving a full picture of all the sounds around you, and it makes it very difficult for your brain to distinguish between important speech sounds and distracting background sounds. You’ll hear all the sounds at the same volume, and struggle to pick out the important sounds you’re straining to hear.
Avoiding Social Events
Since you have trouble hearing in noise, another sign of hearing loss is avoiding social situations. One-on-one conversations in a quiet place are easy to navigate, but you’re embarrassed to meet with friends in large groups. You feel bad asking them to repeat themselves over and over again, and worry that even if they do repeat themselves, you’ll mishear what’s been said and answer inappropriately.
You may blame your friends and family, and accuse everyone around you of mumbling or speaking too softly, but before long you’ll choose to stay home rather than attending social events. While you may avoid the embarrassment of mishearing a question, you’ll face social isolation, loneliness, and even depression. You won’t be exercising your brain as much as you should, and you’ll experience more rapid cognitive decline and an increased risk of dementia.
Do any of these signs sound familiar? If you think you have hearing loss, call us today at Audiology Concepts to book an appointment for a comprehensive hearing test. We’ll evaluate your ability to hear in quiet and in noise, and discover exactly which sounds you can and can’t hear. Ready to get back to effortless hearing? Check out our hearing devices from the world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers, and find the perfect device that will give you back clear hearing.