What are the first signs of hearing loss?

Hearing loss affects around 466 million people around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Hearing loss can occur gradually and other people may notice your hearing has deteriorated before you do. You may no longer be able to hear some of your favorite sounds, you strain to understand conversations or need the television volume to be much louder.

It’s important to pay attention to the first signs of hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation, depression, memory problems and even increase your risk of developing dementia.

While only a hearing care professional can tell you for sure whether you have hearing loss, here are six common signs that your hearing may be affected:

  • Struggle to hear in crowds
  • Asking ‘what?’ frequently
  • Feel drained after social events
  • Watch people’s lips as they talk
  • Your ears feel clogged
  • Keep increasing TV volume

466 million

Hearing loss affects around 466 million people around the world, according to WHO.

First signs of hearing loss

Struggle to hear in crowds

Struggling to follow conversations in crowds or have difficulty being able to differentiate between who is speaking in a noisy environment is often an early sign of hearing loss.

Asking ‘what?’ a lot

Asking people to constantly repeat themselves is not only frustrating for you but also for those people trying to tell you something. It’s also a sign that you should get your hearing tested.

Feel drained after social events

Hearing loss can be exhausting. If you are having to strain to listen to conversations it can leave you feeling more exhausted than usual. You use your brain to listen, but when your auditory system is compromised, your brain has to work much harder to process sounds. 

Watching people’s lips as they talk

When one sense is no longer working as effectively as before, the brain will compensate by using more of another sense. When your hearing deteriorates you will find that you use your eyesight much more to ‘see’ the sounds as people talk. This will likely mean that you watch the speaker’s mouth when they talk.

Ears feel clogged

If you have fluid or wax build-up then it can leave your ears feeling clogged. However, if they are clear then it may be hearing loss that is causing the clogged or muffled feeling, as this can make sounds seem muffled or dull.

Keep increasing TV volume

TV shows use music, dialogue, and sound effects. But when you have hearing loss you will likely hear bass tones better than high tones, this can mean that the music and effects drown out speech. So you can hear what people are saying you may find that you have to increase the volume several times. If this happens and especially if others in your household complain that the TV is too loud, it’s a good idea to get your hearing checked.

Help for hearing loss

If you suspect that you may have hearing loss or people around you have begun to make comments about your hearing, it’s time to get your hearing tested. There are several treatments for hearing loss that can significantly improve your hearing. For example:

While these treatments may not be able to fully restore your hearing, they have the potential of transforming your quality of life.

The sooner you take action on your hearing loss and schedule a hearing test, the sooner you will be able to regain your confidence, sharpness and take back control of your life.

With you on your journey to better hearing.

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