If you have hearing loss, you would imagine it would be obvious, right?
Actually, that’s precisely the problem; many people presume it would. However, even though severe or sudden hearing loss is easy to identify, mild to moderate progressive hearing loss can be far too subtle to observe. 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, whereas tires are replaceable, your hearing is not. It can be in some measure recovered, but the earlier you deal with your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll restore.
So how can you identify the symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? Below are some of the hidden signs that suggest you should consider a professional hearing test.
1. Trouble hearing certain sounds
Frequently people think that hearing loss impacts all types of sounds. So, if you can hear some sounds normally, you assume you can hear all sounds normally.
Do not get stuck into this manner of thinking. The truth is that hearing loss predominantly affects higher-frequency sounds. You may discover that you have particular difficulty hearing the voices of women and children, for instance, owing to the higher pitch.
This may lead you to think that the individuals you can’t hear are mumbling, when the reality is, you have high-frequency hearing loss.
2. Depending on context to understand
Someone is speaking from behind you and you can’t understand what they’re saying until you turn around. You are forced to depend on body language, and possibly lip reading, for additional information used 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 low frequencies. The issue for those with high-frequency hearing loss is that consonants express the the majority of the meaning yet are the most difficult to hear.
If you have hearing loss, speech comprehension is just like reading a sentence with missing letters. More often than not, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may find yourself responding inappropriately or requesting people to repeat themselves frequently. You might also have difficulties hearing on the phone.
3. Difficulty hearing in loud settings
With mild hearing loss, you can normally decipher what others are saying, albeit with lots of effort. As soon as background noise is introduced, on the other hand, the task often becomes overwhelming.
You may find that it’s difficult to hear in group settings or in noisy environments like at restaurants or social gatherings. The competing sounds and background noise are muffling your already compromised hearing, making it extremely difficult to focus on any one source of sound.
4. Listening Fatigue
Finally, you may observe that you’re more tired than normal after work or after engagement in group settings. For individuals with hearing loss, the continual fight to hear, combined with the effort to understand incomplete sounds, can trigger severe exhaustion, which is a non-obvious symptom of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is gradual and ends up being more complicated to treat the longer you delay. If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, even if they’re only minor, we strongly encourage scheduling a hearing test. By acting earlier, you can conserve your hearing and stay connected to your family and friends.