Many people experience hearing loss. But hearing loss isn’t just about going deaf and hearing nothing. There are varying degrees of loss and some early signs that you are experiencing hearing loss. Some people may feel embarrassed, but being honest about your hearing struggles can help improve your relationships with family and friends. They’ll understand better about why you may need them to speak up more or repeat something they’ve said. Here are some of the signs to watch for:
Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)
Tinnitus is a common symptom of hearing loss and can be caused by exposure to loud noises. Tinnitus is not dangerous, but it can be annoying. Some people may experience an occasional ringing while others may have a constant loud ringing in the ears. If you have tinnitus, you may notice that the ringing doesn’t go away even when it’s silent around you. You could also experience buzzing noises and hissing sounds. You can get treatment for tinnitus, which is great news for many people.
Difficulty Hearing Conversation
One of the signs of hearing loss is that you have a hard time following conversations because you don’t hear them well. When you are in noisy environments especially it can be hard to process what people are saying. This can also come out in experiencing a harder time understanding people with thick accents that are different from yours.
Pressure in the Ears
Pressure in the ears or feeling like there is water in the ears is a common symptom of hearing loss. Hearing challenges can start due to infection, high blood pressure, and physical damage to the eardrum from loud sounds over time. Pressure in the ears can also be caused by an ear infection that’s mild or undiagnosed. You may also experience dizziness if you have hearing loss, which can get worse over time if you don’t deal with the hearing loss.
Difficulty Hearing People in Noisy Environments
Have you ever been to a noisy restaurant and struggled to hear what someone was saying? It feels like they are whispering, when in fact they are talking at a normal level. When you’re in a noisy workplace, a loud concert, or even a crowded place, hearing can be hard. If you find that it’s getting worse over time, you may need to have your hearing checked.
Trouble Hearing Consonant Sounds Like S and F
If you’re having trouble hearing consonant sounds like S and F, it could be a sign of hearing loss. When someone is talking to you and some of the consonants start to sound alike, you may want to consider getting a hearing test. While some hearing loss can happen over time, you don’t want it to affect your relationships or cause misunderstandings.
Hard Time Understanding People on the Phone
The phone can be challenging for people with hearing loss. Sometimes words sound muffled, distorted, or quiet. This can make it hard to carry on a phone conversation with people. If you’re having a hard time understanding people on the phone, there are a few things you can try. Use the speakerphone option, if available. If it’s not an option for you, try moving closer to your phone and/or holding it away from your ear so that you can hear better. You could also try using an earbud to help you hear better. Sometimes landlines are also a better option than using a cell phone.
Difficulty Hearing in One Ear
If you’re having difficulty hearing in one ear, it could be a sign of hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and can occur after exposure to loud noises over time. This can be going to loud concerts, working in a noisy environment, and more. It’s important to note that this type of damage is not always permanent. If you think that your hearing has been affected by excessive noise exposure, see a specialist right away so they can assess your condition and determine whether treatment is necessary or not.
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to get checked out by a professional. Hearing loss is a serious problem that can be treated with hearing aids or other devices, but only if they are detected early enough. If left untreated, hearing loss can lead to other health issues like depression or dementia. Additionally, you may find that your hearing loss is simply caused by too much wax in your ear and a specialist can remove the wax and get you hearing better.