Hearing loss can be distressing for you and your loved ones. It’s normal for people to wonder about the health of their hearing especially if you notice concerns. Perhaps you don’t hear things quite as clearly as you once did. Maybe you find yourself turning up the volume on the TV or your phone so you can hear better. You may think to yourself, “Am I losing my hearing?”
Some people take their hearing health very seriously and wonder about it often; others choose to ignore the signs of hearing loss. If you suspect you or a loved one has hearing loss, look for these common signs and symptoms.
Turning up the Volume
People with hearing loss will often compensate by simply turning up the volume on their devices and technology. This could be the volume on the TV, the radio, or their phone. Typically, this makes sounds louder and easier to hear, but it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. Depending on the type of hearing loss and the extent of it, you may not be able to discriminate between certain sounds, even at high volumes.
In some rare cases, high volume and extended use can also cause additional damage to your ears, especially if you’re using headphones.
Repetition and Lip Reading
People who have hearing loss may ask you to repeat yourself—frequently. While they may not cup their ear and ask “What?,” you might notice they aren’t following the conversation or that they seem to take longer to process information. They may not ask you directly to repeat yourself.
If you have hearing loss, you may also try to compensate by reading people’s lips. Some people are very good at this; others aren’t as skilled, especially if they’ve started doing it as a way of compensating for hearing loss. This skill helps people discriminate between different sounds, as the lips move differently around different syllables—even if they sound similar.
Ringing in Your Ears
Among the signs of hearing loss, one of the most common is a ringing in the ears. This may occur when hearing loss happens suddenly, or it may develop slowly over time. It may be caused by a loud noise, such as an explosion, but it’s also a typical symptom of sudden hearing loss, even if you can’t pinpoint the exact cause.
Stress and Strain
Few people think about the emotional signs of hearing loss, but there are several. Hearing impacts your life in many ways, and people with hearing loss typically become agitated and distressed in social situations or noisy places.
If you have hearing loss, you may find yourself stressed or nervous about entering a social situation, since you worry about being able to hear what others are saying. You may become annoyed, since you perceive people mumbling instead of speaking clearly. You might even worry about embarrassing yourself by saying the wrong thing.
As a result of these emotions, many people with untreated hearing loss withdraw from social situations, since these activities become difficult to navigate. Someone who once enjoyed great dinner conversation with friends may now decline that invitation, and another will stop enjoying listening to the radio or talking on the phone with their children because it causes them distress.
How Do You Know If You Have Hearing Loss?
You may also think about risk factors that could make you more susceptible to hearing loss, such as certain medications or working in a noisy environment. Being aware of your risk factors can help your audiologist as they determine the extent and type of hearing loss you may be experiencing.
If you are experiencing many of the signs of hearing loss, you might still wonder if you actually have hearing loss. The best thing you can do is visit a doctoral-level audiologist to have your hearing tested.
Book an appointment with Associated Audiologists today to get the best professional help from our excellent doctoral-level professionals.