Signs of Hearing Loss
Sudden hearing loss is rare, especially in younger people. But, that doesn’t mean that it never happens. Most of the time, trouble with your hearing is a symptom of another health condition. You may have a waxy build-up or damage to your eardrum. It might also an aggressive ear infection or a sign of labyrinthitis or another condition affecting your balance. Most of these conditions can be treated, and your hearing should return to normal in time.
But, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes partial, or total hearing loss can be permanent. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. With the best hearing aids and support, there’s nothing to stop you carrying on with your life as usual after a period of adjustment. To make this adjustment smooth, it’s helpful to give yourself a head start by spotting the symptoms early on.
Hearing loss, whether partial or total rarely comes entirely out of the blue. There are usually warning signs for you to pick up on. Let’s take a look at some of the more common signs and symptoms to help you to recognize hearing loss so that you can get help as soon as possible.
Difficulty Following Conversations
Have you noticed that you are finding it harder than usual to follow conversations? Is it increasingly difficult when you are in a group and not speaking to people one on one? Do you find it hard to understand people if you can’t see their face?
You might also find that you have to ask people to repeat themselves or speak more slowly, and others might have picked up on the change. People struggling with their hearing find understanding women, children and those with softer voices especially tricky.
Ringing in the Ears
Ringing in your ears isn’t uncommon. It often just means that your ears need cleaning, that you’ve been swimming underwater, or that you’ve been to a loud concert or around other loud sounds. But, if it doesn’t pass in time, and gently cleaning your ears doesn’t help, it can be a symptom of more severe hearing issues so speak to your doctor about your symptoms.
Favoring One Side
Hearing loss isn’t always symmetrical. You might find that one ear is stronger than the other, or that only one ear is affected at all. If one ear is becoming weaker, before you’ve even noticed you might find that you start turning to one side to listen, holding your phone to one ear more often than the other, or favoring one ear in different ways.
Avoiding Noisy Places
If you are struggling with hearing loss, your hearing might also become more sensitive. You might find that loud noises, or high pitched sounds cause you pain and discomfort.
Turning the Volume Up
Most of us have a standard setting on our TV. You might turn it down late at night or early in the morning, but the rest of the time, you’ll have a go-to setting. The same goes for your car radio. You might find that you have to turn it up a few notches if your hearing isn’t what it was.
While hearing loss will undoubtedly mean a change in lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that your life is over. Take the time to seek treatment, to understand your hearing loss and treatment options and to look at what it might mean for the future.