Hearing loss is one of the most common health problems in the world. It’s also one of those problems that are usually swept under the rug, and that is unfortunate because hearing loss and its psychological side effects can be efficiently treated to a great extent.
Hearing loss is rarely something that occurs from one day to the next. On the contrary, it is usually a protracted process in which hearing gradually deteriorates over a long period. As a result, it can be difficult to detect hearing loss in the beginning.
In addition to often starting to adapt your behavior to your hearing loss, for example, by raising the volume on the TV, the brain has to make more effort to hear. This extra work for the brain means that it can eventually get overworked which can make you feel tired, have more difficulty concentrating, and suffer from headaches. In other words, your hearing loss begins to affect your quality of life.
If you’re concerned that you’re experiencing hearing loss, below we list the most common signs that may indicate that you’re dealing with this health problem.
All You Hear Is Mumbling
A hearing loss is not like listening to sound with the volume turned down. Instead, you may notice that some language sounds (such as consonant sounds and digraphs, like “ch” and “sh”) are harder to hear than others. This is why people with hearing loss often say that they can hear people speak but do not understand what they are saying.
That is why the first sign of hearing loss is when you can hear vowels but not consonants, causing you to feel like people are not speaking clearly.
If you feel that you’re becoming very irritable by these mumbling sounds, you should speak to your health provider who might suggest that you buy hearing aids to ease the strain. When buying hearing aids, there are several things you need to keep in mind as the type of hearing aids, the budget, and the main technical features. Go online and search for hearing aids near me to find a hearing care specialist in your area to consult with.
You Have Trouble Following Conversations
Even without consonants, people become able to pick up lots of cues about the speech from the context, lip-reading, and facial expressions. But soon enough, if you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll start making mistakes.
If you are having difficulties hearing high tones, you will start hearing the noise more than the actual words people around you say. In addition, age-related changes in how the brain processes various sounds can also make it much harder to ignore background noise.
When you’re unable to hear all the sounds of speech, your brain is forced to fill in the gaps to make sense of what other people are saying. This requires an incredible amount of focus, especially when several people are speaking at once.
All of this effort may leave you feeling exhausted after attending a social event. If this resonated with you, schedule an appointment with your doctor or an audiologist to see what the problem is.
You Become Forgetful and Easily Distracted
When you don’t hear clearly, it becomes difficult to remember things. When you struggle to understand what someone is saying, it taxes your short-term memory. People with hearing loss miss many sounds so they hold random bits and pieces in their short-term memory until they can fill in the blanks and make sense of a sentence.
It takes a tremendous amount of energy and concentration to decode a message that lacks numerous elements which is a good description of what speech sounds like to someone with hearing difficulties. All of this makes it harder for them to focus and sustain attention during an ongoing conversation.
You Keep Cranking up the volume on the TV
Television and radio shows usually mix dialogue, music, and sound effects together. When you hear low-frequency sounds much better than high-frequency ones, the music and effects can fade parts of the speech.
So, to get a better understanding of what the characters are saying, you may turn up the volume. If your family members often complain that the TV is too loud, then it might be high time to get your hearing checked.
It’s not uncommon to not want to admit your hearing loss. Changes in hearing are normal when aging but recognizing the first signs of hearing loss can prevent it from getting worse.
This is why you need to consult your audiologist as soon as possible. By slowing down the negative trend early, you’ll increase your chances of retaining as much of your hearing as possible.