Signs of Hearing Loss
Since hearing loss typically occurs over a long period of time, the symptoms can be subtle and difficult to identify. There are common indicators of hearing loss whether your symptoms present quickly or over time. If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, call an audiologist and request a hearing test. Early detention is important for effective treatment.
- Asking people to repeat themselves often, especially women and children. Oftentimes, high frequency sounds are the first that become difficult to hear.
- Having difficulty following conversation with more than two people. It is often difficult for people with hearing loss to focus on or locate more than one sound source.
- Thinking that other people are mumbling. Speech will likely sound muffled if you are experiencing hearing loss.
- Having difficultly hearing in crowded or loud environments like restaurants, malls or conference rooms. Voices will sound like they blend into the background, even when you are sitting near the speaker.
- Turning up your TV or radio louder than others need it. One telltale sign of hearing loss is others complaining that the volume is too loud for them, even if you can still barely make out the dialogue.
- Experiencing ringing in your ears. This is known as tinnitus, and it often occurs alongside hearing loss.
- Relying on watching a person speak or reading their lips. When visual cues are unavailable, such as when you are talking to someone in another room, you may have trouble making out what is being said.
- Feeling frustrated or stressed out during conversations because you have trouble following along.
- Feeling anxious about talking on the phone or entering new social settings.
- Feeling annoyed at others because they seem to constantly mumble.
- Feeling embarrassed when meeting new people or misunderstanding what others are saying.
- Withdrawing from social situations you once found enjoyable because of your difficulty hearing.
- Having a family history of hearing loss.
- Taking ototoxic medications that are known to harm the hearing system.
- Having diabetes, heart problems, circulation problems or thyroid disorders (common comorbidities of hearing loss).
- Being exposed to loud sounds over a long period of time (such as working at construction sites, military bases, airports or concert venues) or single exposure to an especially loud noise (gunshot or explosion).