Hearing loss normally takes time to fully develop, and the brain does an incredible job of covering the blanks by repurposing mental skills from other areas to help with hearing improvement. It's hardly surprising that the average person delays seeing a hearing loss specialist for many years after somewhat developing hearing loss.
By that point, a significant amount of time has managed to pass, and your hearing loss developed significantly. But still, it's better to look for help at any stage of your hearing loss than to never go see a doctor for your issue. If you think you or someone close to you might be starting to have this problem, read on to learn which warning signs of hearing loss you should never ignore.
Following conversations becomes hard
Some consonants in pronunciation, such as "f" and "s," are high-pitched, while ambient noise in stores and cafés is often low-pitched. If you have problems hearing high tones, the noise will be heard more clearly than other people's voices. Changes in the way the brain interprets a sound as people get older can make it more difficult to tune out background noise.
If you're struggling to hear or understand what people are saying when talking to you, you might be having problems with your hearing. With a quick internet search of hearing centers near me, you can find a great audiologist to help you out and offer treatment for your issue. Your audiologist might suggest you do a hearing test to determine your level of hearing loss and start with treatment from there. Hearing loss may be caused by various reasons and the right treatments can help you hear again.
You start reading lips
When one sense stops working as well as it once did, the brain compensates by increasing the use of another sense — in this example, vision. Imagine the form of someone's lips when they utter "f" or "p"; even if you can't hear them, you can "see" them. When you're having problems hearing, this may cause you to move your gaze to the speaker's lips.
If you're looking for signs that someone else might be experiencing the first stages of hearing loss, examine where they are looking while you're talking to them. If they're looking at your mouth while struggling to hear you that might be one of the first signs of hearing loss. You can always remind them that help can be found, their problem can be treated and their hearing can get back to usual.
Your ears feel clogged
This might happen if you have too much wax or moisture in your ears. You can go to a specialist to clean your ears and see if your hearing sense is getting back to normal afterward. If you can hear better after the wax in your ears has been cleaned, it's not probable that you have a problem with your hearing. But if you still struggle to hear, it might be time to seek hearing loss treatment as soon as possible.
Sounds may appear dull or muted as a result of age-related hearing loss, giving the impression of being blocked. Your audiologist will offer options for treatment of your hearing loss which you can choose from, depending on which one feels the most comfortable to you. Whatever the case, if your hearing problem is age-related, it's probably nothing to worry about.
The birds appear to have vanished
Consider how long it has been since you heard birds tweeting or crickets chirping. When the car's turn signal is blinking, can you hear it? Is it difficult for you to hear your spouse or grandkids when they talk? If you miss all these pleasant sounds and you haven't heard them clearly for some time, it might be the time to go for a check-up.
These higher-pitched noises and voices have a frequency of 2,000 Hz or higher, which are difficult to hear for persons with high-frequency hearing loss. If this is the case, your audiologist might prescribe a hearing aid. But there is nothing to worry about since hearing aids these days come in many different shapes and sizes and are almost unnoticeable.
Schedule an appointment with a specialist for a hearing examination if you are having any of the symptoms mentioned above and have not had your hearing tested. It's better to check your hearing as soon as possible, because the sooner a problem is detected, the quicker it can be resolved. If your doctor says that your hearing loss can't be reversed, make sure to invest in a quality hearing aid to enjoy the sounds of life as you used to.