Hearing loss can sneak up on you. One day you find yourself asking friends and family to repeat themselves, and the next, you can’t keep up with the conversation at all when there is a lot of background noise.
Whether your hearing loss seems to be slowly sneaking up on you over time or you find yourself struggling to hear all of a sudden, it’s essential to understand the warning signs of hearing loss, so you know when to visit a hearing specialist. Although symptoms of hearing loss will depend on the severity of your condition, there are still signs to watch out for.
Follow along as El Dorado Hearing outlines the signs of hearing loss you need to know.
Difficulty Hearing Consonants
When hearing loss is a result of aging, you may find yourself having a difficult time hearing high-frequency sounds. Surprisingly, you may not realize that consonants such as S, F, Th, Sh, V, K, and P are considered to be high-frequency.
As a result, you may find it increasingly difficult to decipher certain words in conversations that sound similar, such as “there” and “share” and “show” and “throw.” This makes it harder for you to quickly follow the conversation because you need to piece together what is said.
Small Noises Become Non-existent
As you know, the ability to hear high-frequency sounds is one of the first things to go as you begin to experience aging-related hearing loss. If you think your hearing may be starting to fade, stop and listen to the world around you.
Can you hear the birds chirping while you walk your dog in the morning?
Do you hear your car’s blinker on your commute to and from work?
Are you having a difficult time making out what your grandchildren are saying?
If you struggle to hear these high-frequency sounds, you may be experiencing early signs of hearing loss.
Inability to Decipher Background Noise
Another common warning sign of hearing loss is the inability to decipher the conversations around you when you’re in an environment with a lot of background noise. Whether you’re in a crowded restaurant or attending a professional sporting event, you may have a hard time hearing the people sitting directly next to you because of the noisy environment.
This may cause you to retreat from attending these events because you don’t want to ask people to repeat themselves constantly.
Your Ears are Ringing
One of the first signs of hearing loss is some degree of tinnitus, which results in the individual experiencing a ringing sensation in their ears. Most researchers believe that tinnitus occurs because the individual’s brain is attempting to fill in the missing frequencies it can no longer pick up, which leaves the patient hearing ringing.
If you believe your hearing is starting to go, you likely have high-frequency hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is a sensorineural hearing loss where the hair cells in the inner ear have been damaged.
These hair cells are what carry the sounds through to the auditory nerve and brain for interpretation. If these hairs are damaged, the brain is unable to interpret the noises around you. To combat these hearing problems, you may be a candidate for hearing aids which will help pick up the important conversations around you while canceling out some of the background noise that makes it difficult for you to decipher speech.
Schedule an appointment with El Dorado Hearing
If you’re experiencing hearing loss, the skilled audiologists at El Dorado Hearing can perform a diagnostic evaluation and provide the recommended treatment and hearing devices. Contact our experienced team to schedule your hearing evaluation.