Hearing loss is a common condition where a person experiences difficulty hearing due to problems in the outer, middle, or inner ear. There are various types of hearing problems, and knowing the early signs of hearing loss can help promote hearing health and avoid complications.
If a person’s hearing abilities fall below those of someone with normal hearing, defined as having hearing thresholds of 20 dB or higher in both ears, they are said to have hearing loss. This condition may affect one or both ears and can be categorized as mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe, or profound.
The nerve cells or tiny hairs in the cochlea that transmit sound impulses to the brain may deteriorate with age and exposure to loud noise. Hearing loss results from the ineffective transmission of electrical impulses when delicate nerve endings are damaged.
Five signs of hearing loss
The signs of hearing loss are not limited to just five symptoms, but in this article, we will be discussing the most common symptoms that we encounter among our patients:
Did you know that one in five people with hearing loss has tinnitus? Also known as ringing in the ears, this condition occurs when a person is subjected to extraordinarily loud noises (i.e gunshots, explosions).
Even though many people might not even be aware they have both diseases, almost 90% of those with tinnitus also suffer hearing loss. Tinnitus typically mimics your loss’s rhythm. Your tinnitus may sound like a high-pitched ringing or buzzing if you have problems hearing high frequencies.
Tinnitus may be an early sign of hearing loss or some other underlying medical disease, so if you experience any weird hearing symptoms, seek medical attention from an audiologist.
A person with colds or allergies may experience muffled hearing. Hearing may eventually go better on its own if the cause of the muffled sound is anything as simple as congestion brought on by a cold or hay fever.
However, muffled hearing is also one of the signs of hearing loss or other medical disorders like head trauma or tumors.
A common cause of hearing loss is having too much ear wax (cerumen). Sometimes, ear wax buildup in the ear canal results in a blockage which could also cause muffled hearing. Over time, this ear wax may harden and dry up, increasing the possibility of impaction. Your hearing may suffer from impacted ear wax.
When your brain has to focus in order to separate sounds from ambient noise before processing and converting them into useful information, listening fatigue sets in. People who appear “weary of listening” are frequently mistaken for being rude, apathetic, or uncaring.
The brain becomes stressed and eventually exhausted when hearing loss is prevalent because the brain must compensate for the impairment and work harder than usual to process information.
Struggling to hear even in mild to moderate background noise
Talking with others may be more difficult if you have hearing loss. It’s likely that your ears have problems blocking out external sounds if you have trouble hearing discussions when there is background noise. The first sign of moderate hearing loss or an auditory processing issue is usually linked to difficulty hearing, even with light background noise (APD).
Diminished interest in social engagements
Hearing loss is a major contributor to social isolation in humans. When hearing becomes difficult, people frequently choose to disengage and isolate themselves rather than participate in social, professional, or business settings where interaction is essential. If left untreated, hearing loss can result in psychological and social problems that have an impact on one’s emotions and society.
Losing your hearing can make it difficult for you to enjoy and take part in many of life’s most treasured moments, such as hearing the voice or laughter of a loved one, having meaningful conversations with family and friends, appreciating the sounds of nature, or watching your favorite TV shows or sporting events.
Experiencing signs of hearing loss? Get your hearing tested today!
If you suspect that you or a loved one is exhibiting early signs of hearing loss, make sure to schedule an appointment with an audiologist to get your hearing tested.
Hearing Health Clinic offers comprehensive hearing tests in Osseo, MN, and nearby communities.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!