Hearing loss signs and symptoms

Understand early signs of hearing loss

Just as the causes of hearing loss vary and accumulate, the symptoms and their effects do as well. While hearing damage can sometimes be physically felt in the ears, it is primarily a sensory loss that affects us psychologically and socially.

When hearing loss occurs gradually, it may be hard to tell if you’re suffering from it on your own. If you are at the age where people usually have hearing complications or you have recently been diagnosed with a chronic disease, ask those around you to monitor your behavior for hearing loss symptoms. Tell them to let you know if they’ve seen you crank the volume up on the TV or radio more than usual as it is one of the first signs of hearing loss. Ask them to notify you if you seemingly ignored them calling to you because it could mean that you didn’t hear them at all especially if the person is a woman or a child. Upon noticing your habits, getting a hearing test or seeing your doctor is the next best step.

Common symptoms of hearing loss

1. Others complain the TV is turned up too loud

Whether you're watching TV, listening to music, or talking on the phone, you might think that the noise level is perfectly normal until others inform you that the volume is too high. This is a good indication your level of hearing is lower than others around you.

2. You struggle hearing in crowds

If you are having difficulty following a conversation in crowds or If you often have trouble differentiating between who’s speaking to you in a noisy environment this is an early sign of hearing loss.

3. You can't understand others

If you are misunderstanding people when they are speaking to you, this can often lead to a string of misinterpretations and can cause miscommunication between you and those you’re speaking to.

4. You're asking "What?" a lot

Asking others to constantly repeat themselves is not only frustrating to those trying to tell you something, but it can start to make you feel uncomfortable as well. 

5. People are asking you why you’re ignoring them

One of the many signs of hearing loss is when people approach you to get your attention as opposed to simply calling out for you. This happens when they have probably already done so and yet you didn’t respond, nor flinch at the sound of someone calling your name. 

6. Women and children are harder to understand

Hearing loss is often characterized by the cancelling out of high-pitched sounds which include female voices. Talking to children may also seem more challenging than before.

7. Not hearing notifications

Another way to know if you’re losing your hearing is when you no longer hear your phone chime with notifications or hear the microwave timer’s ring. 

8. Exhaustion from social gatherings

One of the least obvious signs of hearing loss is feeling very tired after coming from a social event. This is because your brain is overworked from the strain of not being able to hear people properly in conversations. 

What to do in case of hearing loss

Hearing loss can manifest in a variety of ways that may go unnoticed by the person suffering from it. Other symptoms include a ringing sound apart from the muffled audio. Examples of these are hyperacusis and tinnitus. 

It is crucial to go in for a hearing test at your local ear center or try an online hearing test to find out if you need to see a specialist.

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