If you suffer from hearing loss, you might imagine it would be obvious, right?
Actually, that’s exactly the issue; many people think it would. Unfortunately, even though severe or abrupt hearing loss is easy to detect, mild to moderate progressive hearing loss can be far too subtle to notice. That’s the reason why, on average, people will wait five years or longer from the onset of symptoms to seek out help.
Think of hearing loss as a slow leak in a tire. It’s challenging to perceive 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 to a degree recovered, but the earlier you attend to your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll recover.
So how can you identify the symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? Following are some of the hidden signs that suggest you should consider a professional hearing examination.
1. Trouble hearing specific sounds
Frequently people believe that hearing loss impacts all types of sounds. So, if you can hear some sounds normally, you presume you can hear all sounds normally.
Don’t get stuck into this manner of reasoning. The truth is that hearing loss predominately impacts higher-frequency sounds. You might discover that you have particular difficulty hearing the voices of women and children, as an example, because of the higher pitch of their voices.
This may possibly lead you to think that the individuals you can’t hear are mumbling, when the truth is, you have high-frequency hearing loss.
2. Relying on context to understand
Somebody is speaking from behind you and you can’t comprehend what they’re saying until you turn around. You are forced to depend on body language, and possibly lip reading, for extra information used to fill in the blanks.
Speech consists of an assortment 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 most meaning yet are the most difficult to hear.
If you have hearing loss, speech comprehension is just like reading a sentence with missing letters. Normally, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may discover yourself replying inappropriately or asking people to repeat themselves constantly. You may also have difficulty hearing on the phone.
3. Difficulty hearing in busy environments
With mild hearing loss, you can generally decipher what others are saying, albeit with a lot of effort. Once background noise is presented, 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 restaurants or parties. The contending sounds and background noise are muffling your already affected hearing, making it exceedingly difficult to focus on any one source of sound.
4. Mental Exhaustion
Last, you may notice that you’re more fatigued than normal after work or after participation in group settings. For those with hearing loss, the continual battle to hear, combined with the effort to comprehend incomplete sounds, can contribute to extreme exhaustion, which is a non-obvious sign of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is progressive and ends up being more difficult to treat the longer you delay. If you have any of these symptoms, even if they’re only mild, we strongly encourage scheduling a hearing test. By taking action sooner, you can preserve your hearing and stay connected to your loved ones.