Are you having trouble hearing other people? Are you afraid that you may be losing your hearing? This post will tackle the 7 key signs of hearing loss you need to know about.
Hearing loss is a serious problem that can affect many aspects of a person’s life. In the US, 30 million people aged 12 years and older have hearing loss in both ears. In some cases, hearing loss is preventable, but it’s often inevitable in many others.
In this guide, we’ll give you the most common signs that you’re developing hearing loss. This way, you can take immediate action to prepare for it or fix it. Keep reading to find out what they are.
1. You Watch Lips Instead of Making Eye Contact
Are you making less eye contact with people you speak to? Do you find your gaze going down to watch people’s mouths when they talk? Lip reading is a skill that most people with hearing difficulties develop.
Your brain finds ways to compensate for one sense when it isn’t working by developing another. Lip reading uses your sense of sight to make up for your deteriorating sense of hearing.
However, during the pandemic, lip-reading becomes difficult. Today, many people use face masks to avoid getting infected and to avoid infecting others. This is the perfect time to get a hearing aid if you haven’t already.
2. You Mishear What People Say
You may have difficulty listening to what people say. Try to pay attention to how you pay attention during conversations. That includes in-person conversations and phone conversations.
Some 28.8 million Americans will gain a lot from using hearing aids, but fewer than 16% use them. Often, it’s out of denial of their condition. If you keep mishearing things, don’t fight it and go for a consultation!
Miscommunication is a serious issue that can cause unnecessary troubles in your life.
One reason for this type of hearing loss is age. When you grow older, your inner ear structure degenerates. It’s one reason why older people are more likely to use hearing aids.
3. You Have Trouble Following Conversations in Noisy Places
To you, listening and following a conversation was once effortless. Now you need to put your focus on what people are saying to follow the conversation. This becomes even more challenging when you’re in noisy places like malls or restaurants.
Your focus may be on the sounds that are difficult for you to hear. For some, they focus on reading the lips of the people they’re conversing with. Thus, it can feel like joining social events is exhausting.
If you’re a senior citizen, you may have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds like the “f” and “s” sounds.
Get a hearing aid now to help improve your social life. Check out this list from Sound Hearing for the best hearing aid for seniors.
4. You Hear Persistent Ringing Sound
If you hear noise or ringing in your ears, you likely have tinnitus. Tinnitus is one of the biggest signs of hearing loss. It can be the cause of the age-related hearing loss or ear injury.
If you often get exposed to extreme noises like in concerts, you can develop tinnitus. It can also come from exposure to explosive noises or constant loud occupational noises. Your ears can only handle so much noise, so keep jobs in loud environments as short-lived as possible.
Some medications like Viagra or aspirin can also cause temporary ringing in your ear or hearing loss. You’ll also find it in some chemotherapy medication. Once you stop taking high doses of such medications, the ringing may stop.
5. You Need to Increase the Volume on the Devices and TV
Do other people often tell you that your TV volume is too loud? Is the volume on your phone always set to a high number when you listen to it? This is a sign that you’re losing your hearing.
TV shows often mix music, sound effects, and dialog. It may be that you’re having a hard time hearing what the people are saying because the background is too loud. Thus, you’ll increase the volume to hear what they’re saying.
This can also happen when you’re listening to the radio. Once you hear people complain about your TV volume, see an ear doctor. Until you get your hearing problems fixed, better use subtitles so you don’t disturb others.
6. It Feels Like Something Is Clogging Your Ears
Does it feel like there is pressure in your ears that’s making all the surrounding sounds muffled? Do you feel like you’ve got cotton stuck in your ears? See a doctor and ask them about it.
You may only have too much wax or fluid in your ears. However, if your ears are clear, you likely have hearing loss. Ask to get a hearing test so you can confirm this.
7. One Ear Is Having Trouble Picking up Sounds
This is the final entry in the common hearing loss signs. Often, hearing loss begins with one ear, not both at the same time. It’s rare for sudden hearing loss in one or both ears, but it happens.
Often, people also tend to lose track of specific sounds, not all sounds. If you have high-frequency hearing loss, it’s harder for you to hear high-pitched sounds. That includes women’s and children’s voices and consonants like f, v, s, and f.
A rare type of hearing loss is the reverse-slope or low-frequency hearing loss. This is the opposite where you have a harder time hearing low-pitched sounds. That may include men’s voices, environmental sounds, and phone conversations.
Don't Ignore the Signs of Hearing Loss
Now you know the most common signs of hearing loss. The next step is to visit a doctor to learn more about what type of hearing loss you have. This way, you know what to do to fix or prevent further loss of hearing.
Often, the final step is to get and start using a hearing aid.
That’s it for our list of the most common signs of hearing loss. We hope you enjoyed reading and learned something useful from it. If you want to learn more about hearing loss, check out our other guides.