If you suffer from hearing loss, you would assume it would be obvious, right?
Actually, that’s exactly the issue; many people presume it would. Unfortunately, even though severe or sudden hearing loss is easy to detect, mild to moderate gradual hearing loss can be far too subtle to detect. That’s why, on average, people will wait five years or longer from the onset of symptoms to search for help.
Picture hearing loss as a slow leak in a tire. It’s challenging to notice the day-to-day changes, and it’s only when the tire becomes flat, and your car is no longer drivable, that you decide to act.
Regrettably, whereas tires are replaceable, your hearing is not. It can be in some measure restored, but the sooner you deal with your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll regain.
So how can you discover the symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? Here are several of the hidden signs that suggest you should get a hearing examination.
1. Difficulties hearing certain sounds
Frequently people think that hearing loss impacts all types of sounds. Therefore, if you can hear some sounds normally, you assume you can hear all sounds normally.
Do not get caught up into this mode of reasoning. The reality is that hearing loss mostly impacts higher-frequency sounds. You may observe that you have particular difficulty hearing the voices of women and children, for example, owing to the higher pitch.
This may possibly lead you to think that the individuals you can’t hear are mumbling, when in reality, you have high-frequency hearing loss.
2. Depending on context to understand
Somebody is speaking from behind you and you can’t understand what they’re saying until you turn around and face them. You are forced to rely on body language, and potentially lip reading, for supplementary information to fill in the blanks.
Speech is comprised of a wide range of frequencies, from low to high, with consonants representing the higher frequencies and vowels representing the lower frequencies. The issue for people with high-frequency hearing loss is that consonants impart the the majority of the meaning yet are the most challenging to hear.
If you have hearing loss, speech comprehension is just like reading a sentence with missing letters. For the most part, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may discover yourself responding inappropriately or asking people to repeat themselves often. You might also have difficulties hearing on the phone.
3. Difficulty hearing in noisy settings
With mild hearing loss, you can typically understand what others are saying, albeit with lots of effort. Once background noise is presented, however, the task often becomes overwhelming.
You might find that it’s difficult 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 extremely 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 participation in group settings. For those with hearing loss, the chronic fight to hear, combined with the effort to grasp incomplete sounds, can contribute to severe exhaustion, which is a non-obvious sign of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is progressive and becomes more complicated to treat the longer you delay. If you have any of these signs and symptoms, even if they’re only mild, we strongly suggest scheduling a hearing test. By taking action earlier, you can preserve your hearing and stay connected to your family and friends.