One of the things that you might not know about hearing loss is just how common it can be. Most estimates based on available data say that roughly 10% of all adults are going to experience some level of hearing loss. As such, it’s worth being vigilant about your hearing health, to protect it and make sure that you’re acting on any signs that something might be up. But what are the signs that you should be paying attention to? Here are some symptoms you should be paying attention to, as well as what to do about them.
Certain voices become harder to make out
One of the interesting things about hearing loss is that it’s not like you start to have trouble hearing at all volumes and frequencies. You can find out more about audiograms, which can specifically show you how your hearing is affected but, for most people, you’re likely to have trouble hearing higher-pitched voices, such as children’s voices and some women’s voices. If you find that these voices are harder to understand than others, and perhaps more difficult than they have been in the past, it’s a sign of hearing loss.
You have trouble in noisy places
It’s not just the source of the noise that might be the issue, it might be the environment that you’re in. Because some frequencies can be harder to hear than others, it might make certain types of noise, like background noise, much more audible. This can be difficult when you’re trying to communicate with people in these areas. If you do have hearing loss, there are hearing aid features that can help with this, such as directional microphones, which are work learning more about. Everyone hears a little worse in noisy places, but if you have more trouble than the others you are with, it could be a sign you should get checked out.
You find that you have to turn the TV up
Sometimes, you might not even be the one to notice that something is different. Many of the symptoms of hearing loss are gradual and hard to notice during your day-to-day life. However, if you find that the people you live with make comments on the volume of your TV, phone, music, or whatever else you might be listening to, it could be a cause for some further inspection. You might be turning it up to a volume that most people would find unnecessarily loud without even noticing it. You should be careful of this habit, too, especially when wearing headphones, as it can cause future hearing loss.
Social events tire you out
As mentioned, people with hearing loss can have trouble hearing some voices, as well as hearing amongst background noise. As such, social events can require you to spend more attention focusing on people when they speak which, in turn, can get pretty tiring. There are links between hearing loss and stress, and they can get much worse when that hearing loss is undiagnosed, often because of these social problems. In some cases, it can get bad enough that a person with hearing loss might choose to isolate themselves rather than sit through the stress of having to focus that hard all the time to communicate.
Getting yourself checked out
If you or your loved ones do notice any of the symptoms of hearing loss, it’s important that you act on it quickly. The sooner you can treat it, the better your chances of preventing it from developing any further. Learn more about what to expect from a hearing test and how you can read the results and schedule one as soon as possible. The only way to clear up your doubts is to get an answer for sure from a qualified hearing health professional.
Protecting your hearing better in future
Regardless of whether or not you have hearing loss, you should continue to talk to your hearing health professional about ways to protect your hearing as time goes on. This can include preventive measures such as buying hearing protection or simply making sure that you get routine checks to notice any changes in your hearing health as soon as possible. This is especially true if you have any of the most common risk factors for hearing loss, such as being over 65, having sleep apnea, iron deficiencies, or taking any blood pressure medication.
If you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss, you should arrange for a hearing exam. The sooner you start to act on it, the better.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.