One of the biggest challenges to people suffering from hearing loss is simply catching it. While late-stage hearing loss can be obvious, many people suffer from hearing loss without ever noticing it. Unfortunately, untreated hearing loss can have many side effects that lower your quality of life. If you think you or a loved one could be suffering from hearing loss but aren’t sure, take a look at the below symptoms and see if they sound familiar.
Common Symptoms of Hearing Loss
One major sign of hearing problems is having difficulty in conversation and social settings. However, depending on the circumstances these signs can also be hard to catch. Some common social problems for people with hearing difficulties are:
- Difficulty following conversations between other people or talking with others in noisy environments like malls, restaurants, or meeting rooms.
- Often asking people to repeat themselves or misunderstanding what they say.
- Focusing intently on reading lips, or having trouble understanding what people say when they aren’t directly facing you.
Trouble with Certain Sounds
Another common symptom of hearing loss is having trouble hearing or noticing particular sounds. Often hearing loss happens in higher frequencies first, but since lower frequency sounds are still easy to hear many people don’t notice the reduction in their hearing. This can lead to a number of problems, such as:
- Difficulty hearing high-frequency noises like people with higher voices or high-pitched sounds like phones ringing, whistles, or beeps.
- Trouble hearing softer noises such as a faucet dripping in another room or people calling from far away.
Trouble with Technology
Because speakers and devices transmit sound differently than people’s voices, many people with early hearing loss start experiencing problems with technology before they have problems in person. Some of the most common technological problems people with hearing loss encounter are:
- Having trouble hearing or understanding people on the phone.
- Not noticing the phone ringing or hearing notifications on your cell phone.
- Needing to raise the volume on the television, phone, or radio frequently, or being told by others often that you listen to these at an uncomfortable volume.
Not all the signs and symptoms of hearing loss are physical. People often experience mental side effects from hearing loss as well. These mental symptoms can take many forms and affect people differently depending on the type and severity of their hearing loss. Here are a few of the most common mental side effects from hearing loss:
- Feeling stressed, nervous, or anxious when in social situations because of problems hearing or understanding people.
- Feeling tired or mentally strained after conversations due to the increased mental effort of listening to others.
- Suffering from embarrassment or shyness in social situations and conversations due to trouble understanding people.
- Withdrawing from social situations or finding yourself not enjoying things you did previously such as music, movies, or group events.
Finally, there are symptoms and signs of hearing loss that can stem from other medical conditions. If you take certain medications or suffer from any of several conditions, you should keep a close eye on your hearing as well. It’s very possible your existing health conditions could result in hearing loss as well. Some of the main conditions to be aware of are:
- A family history of hearing loss or hearing aid use.
- Having any condition that affects your circulation or thyroid, or having a family history of circulatory or thyroid problems.
- Having diabetes or heart disease.
- Taking any medication known to cause hearing damage or hearing loss (commonly called ototoxic medications or drugs).
What to Do If You Have Hearing Loss Symptoms
If you think you might be suffering from any of the above symptoms, there are a few steps you should take.
First, find an audiologist or hearing doctor to give you a hearing test. Getting a professional hearing evaluation is essential for diagnosing and treating hearing problems. A trained audiologist will be able to test your hearing and devise a plan for how to compensate for any loss you may have.
After your hearing test, your audiologist will discuss the results with you and tell you if you need hearing aids. He or she may also suggest lifestyle changes to help improve your hearing. If you do need hearing aids, your audiologist may also allow you to try several models or even fit you for a hearing aid immediately.
If you think you could be suffering from hearing loss and want to take the first step towards recovery, visit the Oklahoma Hearing Center today. Our 5 OKC metro locations as well os our Ardmore audiology clinic can help you on the road to better hearing. Call (405) 546-4280 or visit us on Facebook to learn more about what we can do for you.