Hearing loss is more prevalent than we think. It doesn’t always equate to total deafness and doesn’t happen on one fine morning. Loss of hearing is mostly always a gradual process that starts very early in life. People only begin to notice it at the advanced stages and, it would have been too late by then. The numbers on hearing loss are also interesting. According to the latest statistics, half of the elderly population in the United States suffers from hearing impairment. It is, however, easily detectable and hearing test options are plenty. Nevertheless, it is good to know what to look for and to be on the clear. Here are some signs to deduce if one has any hearing loss.
High frequency of mishearing
An increased frequency in mishearing of words and sentences in everyday conversations can mean hearing disorders. An example of this would be hearing “be a pacifist” instead of hearing the intended “be specific”. Situations like this can be funny and upsetting at the same time. However, it could also denote the onset of degradation in hearing. Some types of hearing loss begin with the patient losing the ability to distinguish speech that was once clearly discernable.
Need for high sound volume than normal
The need for a higher volume of sound on the TV or speakers than what people would find comfortable could mean hearing loss. If one is constantly getting asked to turn down the tv or the home theatre in the living room, then it means it’s time for a hearing test. The need for higher than usual amounts of volume could mean eardrum damage. Eardrum damage can be dangerous and could lead to total deafness if not treated immediately. On the other hand, it is also the most recoverable hearing problems. It is therefore advisable to do to get it checked by a technician as soon as possible.
Physical strain when trying to listen to sounds
Experiencing unusual strain and stress when trying to follow conversations can mean hearing problems. The common symptoms include migraines, ringing in the head and general bodily exhaustion. It is important to note that it also covers enjoyable conversations with family and friends and not only stressful work-related talk. Physical strain after having a normal conversation could mean that the brain is working overtime. Hearing loss makes the auditory nerves in the brain fire more than regular to compensate for it. Nerves working overtime can be taxing for the brain and will result in headaches and mental stress. A trip to the Otolaryngologist can diagnose these problems effectively.
Being extra sensitive to noise
Unwanted noise is always irritating. However, if tiny background noises stop one from hearing conversations, it could mean a problem. Noise can be annoying to people. It is, however, still possible to concentrate and distinguish sounds from noise usually. Hearing impairment can lead to individuals being unable to process individual sounds from total noise. Studies have shown that exposure to constant noise can affect the brain. Such a condition is called “hidden hearing loss” and signifies the erosion of the decoding capability. A trip to the doctor is necessary for such circumstances.
Hearing loss usually starts early and is only recognised way later into life. Any of the above symptoms can be a precursor to complex problems that would lead to total deafness. It is therefore advisable to visit an expert if one is suffering from any such issues. Most cases of hearing impairment are treatable if it’s known at an early stage. Therefore it is essential to go for hearing tests frequently and keep one in the clear.
If you have any concerns about your hearing health, make an appointment to see an Audiologist.
An Audiologist is a health professional who specializes in identifying, diagnosing, managing, and preventing disorders of the hearing and balance system.
Audiologists use a variety of tests and measures to assess hearing and balance function. They also provide rehabilitation and counseling services to people with hearing loss or other communication disorders.
The sooner you start managing your hearing loss or condition, the better your quality of life. A diagnostic hearing test with a Registered Audiologist can provide clarity and direction, whether your hearing loss is mild, moderate, or severe.