If you suffer from hearing loss, you might assume it would be obvious, right?
Well, that’s precisely the issue; many people presume it would. Unfortunately, although severe or sudden hearing loss is easy to recognize, mild to moderate gradual hearing loss can be far too subtle to notice. That’s the reason why, on average, people will wait more than five years from the onset of symptoms to seek out help.
Think of hearing loss as a gradual leak in a tire. It’s challenging to perceive the daily changes, and it’s only when the tire goes flat, and your car is no longer drivable, that you decide to act.
Unfortunately, whereas tires are replaceable, your hearing is not. It can be partially restored, but the sooner you attend to your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll restore.
So how can you determine the symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? Following are several of the hidden signs that suggest you should get a hearing test.
1. Difficulties hearing particular sounds
Commonly people assume that hearing loss impacts all types of sounds. Therefore, if you can hear some sounds normally, you believe you can hear all sounds normally.
Don’t get caught into this manner of reasoning. The truth is that hearing loss predominately impacts 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 of their voices.
This may possibly lead you to think that the individuals you can’t hear are mumbling, when the reality is, you have high-frequency hearing loss.
2. Relying on context to comprehend speech
Somebody is speaking from behind you and you can’t comprehend what they’re saying until you turn around. You have to rely on body language, and possibly lip reading, for extra information to fill in the blanks.
Speech is composed of a wide range of frequencies, from low to high, with consonants representing the high frequencies and vowels representing the lower frequencies. The problem for those with high-frequency hearing loss is that consonants transmit the the majority of the meaning yet are the most challenging to hear.
If you have hearing loss, speech comprehension is comparable to reading a sentence with missing letters. Normally, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may discover yourself responding inappropriately or requesting people to repeat themselves frequently. You might also experience difficulty hearing on the phone.
3. Difficulty hearing in loud settings
With mild hearing loss, you can normally decode what other people are saying, albeit with lots of effort. As soon as background noise is introduced, 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 at restaurants or social gatherings. The competing sounds and background noise are muffling your already compromised hearing, making it exceptionally difficult to focus on any single source of sound.
4. Mental Fatigue
Last, you may observe that you’re more exhausted than normal after work or after participation in group settings. For people with hearing loss, the constant fight to hear, combined with the effort to understand incomplete sounds, can contribute to severe exhaustion, which is a non-obvious sign of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is gradual and becomes more difficult to treat the longer you wait. If you experience any of these symptoms, even if they’re only minor, we strongly encourage arranging a hearing test. By acting earlier, you can preserve your hearing and stay connected to your loved ones.