If you suffer from hearing loss, you would think it would be obvious, right?
Actually, that’s precisely the problem; many people think it would. However, even though severe or sudden hearing loss is easy to detect, mild to moderate gradual hearing loss can be too subtle to detect. That’s the reason why, on average, people will wait more than five years from the beginning of symptoms to search for help.
Think of hearing loss as a slow leak in a tire. It’s difficult to recognize 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, while tires are replaceable, your hearing is not. It can be partially recovered, but the earlier you treat your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll regain.
So how can you discover the signs and symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? Here are several of the hidden signs that indicate you should get a hearing assessment.
1. Difficulty hearing specific sounds
Commonly people think that hearing loss impacts all types of sounds. So, if you can hear some sounds normally, you believe you can hear all sounds normally.
Don’t get trapped into this manner of thinking. The truth is that hearing loss predominantly impacts higher-frequency sounds. You might notice that you have particular difficulty hearing the voices of women and children, for example, owing to 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. Depending on context to comprehend speech
Someone is talking from behind you and you can’t comprehend what they’re saying until you turn around. You are forced to rely on body language, and potentially lip reading, for additional information to fill in the blanks.
Speech is comprised of a range of frequencies, from low to high, with consonants representing the high frequencies and vowels representing the low frequencies. The problem for those with high-frequency hearing loss is that consonants convey 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. In general,, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may find yourself responding inappropriately or asking people to repeat themselves frequently. You might also have difficulty hearing on the phone.
3. Difficulty hearing in loud settings
With mild hearing loss, you can usually 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 might discover that it’s overwhelming to hear in group settings or in loud environments like restaurants or parties. The competing sounds and background noise are muffling your already affected hearing, making it highly difficult to focus on any one source of sound.
4. Listening Fatigue
Finally, you may notice that you’re more tired than normal after work or after engagement in group settings. For those with hearing loss, the continual battle to hear, together with the effort to understand incomplete sounds, can bring about serious exhaustion, which is a non-obvious sign of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is progressive and becomes more complicated to treat the longer you wait. If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, even if they’re only mild, we strongly suggest arranging a hearing test. By taking action sooner, you can preserve your hearing and stay connected to your loved ones.