If you have hearing loss, you might think it would be obvious, right?
Well, that’s exactly the issue; many people presume it would. However, although severe or sudden hearing loss is easy to identify, mild to moderate developing hearing loss can be far too subtle to detect. That’s the reason why, on average, people will wait five years or longer from the beginning of symptoms to search for help.
Imagine hearing loss as a slow leak in a tire. It’s difficult to notice the day to day changes, and it’s only when the tire goes flat, and your car is no longer drivable, that you decide to act.
Regrettably, while tires are replaceable, your hearing is not. It can be in some measure restored, but the earlier you deal with your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll recover.
So how can you discover the signs and symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? The following are some of the hidden signs that indicate you should consider a professional hearing assessment.
1. Difficulty hearing specific sounds
Frequently people assume that hearing loss affects all types of sounds. So, if you can hear some sounds normally, you presume you can hear all sounds normally.
Don’t get caught up into this manner of reasoning. The truth is that hearing loss predominantly affects higher-frequency sounds. You might notice that you have particular difficulty hearing the voices of women and children, as an example, because of the higher pitch.
This may possibly lead you to believe that the individuals you can’t hear are mumbling, when in fact, you have high-frequency hearing loss.
2. Depending on context to comprehend speech
Someone is speaking from behind you and you can’t understand what they’re saying unless you turn around and face them. You have to depend on body language, and possibly lip reading, for extra information to fill in the blanks.
Speech consists of an array of frequencies, from low to high, with consonants representing the higher frequencies and vowels representing the lower frequencies. The problem for people with high-frequency hearing loss is that consonants present the the majority of the meaning yet are the most challenging to hear.
If you have hearing loss, speech comprehension is like reading a sentence with missing letters. More often than not, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may discover yourself responding inappropriately or requesting people to repeat themselves regularly. You may also have difficulties hearing on the phone.
3. Difficulty hearing in loud environments
With mild hearing loss, you can normally understand what other people are saying, albeit with a lot of effort. Once background noise is presented, however, the task often becomes overwhelming.
You might find that it’s overwhelming to hear in group settings or in noisy environments like restaurants or parties. The contending sounds and background noise are muffling your already affected hearing, making it incredibly difficult to focus on any single source of sound.
4. Mental Exhaustion
Finally, you may notice that you’re more tired than normal after work or after engagement in group settings. For people with hearing loss, the continuous fight to hear, combined with the effort to understand incomplete sounds, can produce serious exhaustion, which is a non-obvious symptom of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is progressive and ends up being more complicated to treat the longer you wait. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, even if they’re only minor, we strongly encourage scheduling a hearing test. By taking action sooner, you can preserve your hearing and stay connected to your family and friends.