Hearing loss is usually a gradual process. Sometimes hearing loss can be extremely sudden, but most often it’s a slow process that can creep up on you over several months. The day-to-day changes will probably go unnoticed. But you may recognize a hearing loss if you think back to your hearing abilities a year ago versus your hearing abilities now.
To help you catch hearing loss as soon as possible, here’s how you can watch for early signs of hearing loss.
General Fatigue or Listening Fatigue
Have you come home after an event and felt completely exhausted? Six months ago you may have felt a bit tired, but now you feel completely drained. What’s happening? This fatigue could be an early warning sign of hearing loss.
Mild hearing loss makes it harder to follow conversations, particularly during noisy events or anywhere with a lot of background noise. You’ll use a lot more energy straining to hear, guessing at what’s been said, or trying to fill in the blanks through context or facial expressions.
This can be exhausting. By the end of the night, you fall into bed feeling completely drained, and even in the morning, you may feel more tired than usual. If you’ve been feeling this kind of fatigue, it could be an early sign of hearing loss. Next time you’re out, notice if you have a harder time following conversations compared to your friends. Even though you might not notice the hearing loss, this may be the cause of your fatigue.
Difficulty Following Conversations
Has it been harder than usual to follow conversations? Does it get more difficult if you’re somewhere with a lot of background sound? Having a hard time understanding speech is an early sign of hearing loss. Speech sounds are both high and low sounds. You’ll have no trouble hearing that someone is speaking, but you may have a hard time catching enough sounds to make sense of what’s being said.
For example, consonant sounds are usually high-pitched. This often falls into the range of sounds you’ll start missing first. This means that even though you think you’ve heard everything being said, you actually have these tiny gaps in hearing. You’ll have difficulty following conversations, ask people to repeat themselves, and fail to understand what’s being said.
Turning Up the TV Volume
Another early warning sign of hearing loss is turning up the volume on the TV. You may be doing it without realizing it, and not stop to think that the reason you’re increasing the volume is because of hearing loss. After all, different programs have different volumes, and you adjust the volume all the time.
If your family starts complaining that the TV is always too loud, and on average you have it set louder than you used to, this is likely a clear sign of hearing loss.
Sounds Seem Muffled
Does it feel like everyone around you has forgotten how to speak clearly? Does it seem as though conversations are muffled or hard to catch? While you might think the problem is that others have just started mumbling all the time, the real reason is probably in your ears. If conversations seem muffled, and this is true in most of your conversations, then this is an early sign of hearing loss.
Everyday Sounds Are Missing
Take a moment to think about the daily sounds you hear. This could be birds chirping outside the window, the hum from the neighbor’s air conditioning unit, or even the ticking of your car turning signals. Have you been missing these everyday sounds? You may not notice at first, and you’ve adjusted to not hearing these sounds. But if you are not hearing these everyday sounds anymore, this is an early sign of hearing loss.
Get a Hearing Test
If you’ve noticed these early signs of hearing loss, or any other changes in your hearing health, get a hearing test. Visit us for a comprehensive test that will tell you more about your hearing loss. Even mild hearing loss should be treated with hearing aids. You won’t feel so tired after conversations or have a hard time hearing what’s been said. Hearing aids will also help you hear all the everyday sounds you’ve been missing and enjoy clear hearing.