If you suffer from hearing loss, you would assume it would be obvious, right?
Well, that’s precisely the issue; many people think it would. However, although severe or sudden hearing loss is easy to recognize, 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 beginning of symptoms to seek help.
Imagine hearing loss as a slow leak in a tire. It’s challenging to observe 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.
Unfortunately, whereas tires are replaceable, your hearing is not. It can be to some extent recovered, but the sooner you attend to your hearing loss the more of your hearing you’ll get back.
So how can you determine the signs and symptoms of early-stage hearing loss? The following are some of the hidden signs that suggest you should consider a hearing test.
1. Trouble hearing particular sounds
Commonly people believe that hearing loss impacts all types of sounds. Therefore, if you can hear some sounds normally, you assume you can hear all sounds normally.
Do not get stuck into this mode of thinking. The fact is that hearing loss principally affects higher-frequency sounds. You might observe that you have particular difficulty hearing the voices of women and children, as an example, due to the higher pitch.
This may possibly lead you to believe that the individuals you can’t hear are mumbling, when in fact, you have high-frequency hearing loss.
2. Relying on context to comprehend speech
Someone is speaking from behind you and you can’t comprehend what they’re saying unless you turn around and face them. You are forced to depend on body language, and potentially lip reading, for extra information to fill in the blanks.
Speech is comprised of a range 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 transmit 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. In general,, you’ll get it right, but when you don’t, you may discover yourself replying inappropriately or requesting people to repeat themselves frequently. You may also experience difficulty hearing on the phone.
3. Difficulty hearing in loud settings
With mild hearing loss, you can typically decode what others are saying, albeit with a lot 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 loud environments like at restaurants or parties. The contending sounds and background noise are muffling your already affected hearing, making it highly difficult to concentrate on any one source of sound.
4. Mental Exhaustion
Finally, you may notice that you’re more tired than normal after work or after participation in group settings. For those with hearing loss, the continuous battle to hear, together with the effort to comprehend incomplete sounds, can result in severe exhaustion, which is a non-obvious symptom of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is gradual and ends up being more difficult to treat the longer you delay. If you experience any of these symptoms, even if they’re only mild, we strongly recommend arranging a hearing test. By taking action earlier, you can preserve your hearing and stay connected to your family and friends.