Do you worry that you might suffer from hearing loss? In the US, about 15% of American adults ages 18 and over suffer from hearing loss. This issue only gets more prevalent as people age.
Even if you don’t think you’re around that age, too much exposure to loud environments can also damage your ears. In fact, only one-fourth of hearing loss cases stem from age.
With that said, you don’t have to dismiss your concerns. There might already be an early sign or two of hearing loss that you don’t recognize as such yet.
Would you like to learn more about the early signs of hearing loss? If so, then this article’s for you. Keep reading to learn more.
You Get Irritated at Others for Mumbling
Early signs of hearing loss can include difficulty understanding conversations in noisy environments and needing to ask others to repeat themselves often. If someone frequently has difficulty hearing others, they may begin to get irritated at those who mumble or speak too quietly.
This reaction is their subconscious clue that they are not hearing as well as they should be. They may also find that their friends and family need to raise their voices when speaking to them, even when others don’t need to do so.
Talking on the Phone is More Challenging
One of the most common signs of early hearing loss is a person having difficulty hearing. And, understanding when speaking on the phone. A person may need to turn up the volume on their phone or miss important details of the conversation due to mishearing or losing sound entirely.
Voices tend to appear muffled, conversations are harder to follow, and it’s difficult to understand much of anything. It’s also possible to have difficulty distinguishing between individual voices on the other end of the line.
Two or more people will sound like one speaker. Ringing, humming, and static sounds are more easily heard than a normal conversation on the phone.
You’re Getting Clumsier
If you’ve noticed yourself getting increasingly clumsy suddenly, it may be a sign of hearing loss. The reason for this clumsiness could be due to decreased hearing, as carefully listening to your environment is essential for balance.
Without it, you may unconsciously rely on your vision more heavily to navigate your surroundings, leading to poor coordination and clumsiness. In some cases, such as with infections or acoustic trauma, the onset of hearing loss can be sudden or severe enough to cause a significant impact on balance.
Some Sounds Seem Louder Than Normal
If a person notices that certain sounds are suddenly louder or more noticeable than they were before, it’s important to take heed. It could be an important sign that hearing loss is beginning to be noticeable.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be an incredibly loud sound, but something seemingly insignificant like a whisper or the clicking of a pen can suddenly be louder when someone is experiencing hearing loss.
Difficulty Carrying a Conversation
Difficulty carrying a conversation in a crowded room can be attributed to difficulty distinguishing one’s own voice from other voices in the room. This can lead to miscommunication, or not hearing the conversation accurately at all and missing vital information.
This can lead to feeling socially isolated or stressed in situations that require quick and accurate conversation. Recognizing and addressing these early signs can be key to maintaining a healthy hearing and social life.
You Don’t Remember Things People Tell You
It becomes increasingly difficult to remember things people have told you, and you find yourself constantly asking people to repeat themselves. It is important to monitor these signs closely and seek professional audiological help if they persist.
Unfortunately, this is an issue that can be difficult to notice. Especially, if you have been struggling with memory issues over time. Creating conversations that feel disjointed and remembering only the overarching point of a conversation can be an easy indicator of possible hearing trouble.
You Easily Get Distracted
When the brain doesn’t receive clear information through the auditory channels, it shifts its focus to visual information. Without the clarity of sound, the person can become easily distracted by their surroundings or unable to keep up with conversations.
If you are easily distracted and you think you might have hearing loss, it is important to visit an audiologist for a complete hearing assessment. You should also explore potential treatment options, such as hearing aids for active individuals.
You Don’t Get Jokes Like You Used To
It can begin to appear with changes in comprehension, such as not understanding jokes like you used to. They may not catch sarcasm or other witty remarks.
This is because being able to accurately make sense of speech relies heavily upon recognizing fine details in conversation. When hearing is impaired, even slightly, it is often difficult to pick up on subtle auditory cues of spoken language.
Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss
Preventing hearing loss can be done by avoiding any exposure to very loud noises (such as loud music, power tools, or firearms) and using safety equipment. You may protect your ears by using things like ear plugs or protective ear muffs.
Reducing the use of personal audio devices (headphones and earbuds) by using the lowest volume possible, or using dedicated speakers can help prevent hearing loss. Avoiding smoking and drugs, following a healthy diet, and seeing a physician if any ear symptoms occur, can all help prevent hearing loss.
Recognize Early Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a concerning health issue; however, the earlier it is identified, the better. Be sure to look out for early signs of hearing loss and encourage your loved ones to do the same.
If you suspect you or someone else may be experiencing hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact a specialist for further diagnosis and treatment.