Perhaps your New Year’s started off with a bang? Fireworks, shouting and rejoicing are part of many New Year celebrations but may have left your ears ringing and buzzing. This New Year’s fun may leave you with serious hearing loss. You cannot begin to treat your hearing loss until you identify that you have a problem, and like any medical condition, the sooner you address the problem the better. Below are signs you may be suffering from hearing loss.
- You have trouble understanding what people are saying over the phone. It could be an issue with your phone, but if struggling to hear over the phone is a consistent problem, it could be an issue with your ears. Check the volume setting, and if you find yourself inching the volume up louder and louder, you may have hearing loss.
- You have trouble following a conversation when people are talking at once. Our ability to process multiple incoming and competing signals deteriorates with age, so being lost in conversation occasionally isn’t always a sign of hearing loss. However, if you’re at a work meeting or eating dinner with friends, and you frequently have a hard time keeping up when two or more people speak at the same time, you may have hearing loss.
- Others complain that your TV is too loud Television programs and movies can be hard to follow, particularly during times when music is competing with dialogue. Turning the TV up louder doesn’t always help make the sound clearer. If you consistently need the TV turned up so loud that it’s uncomfortable for others in the room, or if your neighbors can hear it, it’s time to get a hearing test.
- You’re exhausted from straining to hear conversations. Constantly straining to hear and follow conversation is mentally and physically fatiguing. Doing so can make you feel exhausted and worn out after even a normal day. So, if a typical day of conversing with coworkers, friends and family leaves you with a headache or feeling physically fatigued, you may have a hearing loss.
- You have trouble hearing in noisy environments. Perhaps you found it difficult to hear people during this year’s holiday celebration. With many conversations going on at once it is difficult to distinguish the conversation you are in. People with hearing loss often have problems masking out background noise and focusing on speech. This is a very common patient complaint heard by hearing care professionals, and if it happens to you often, it could be time for a hearing evaluation.
- You say “What?” too often. Just because you didn’t hear a mumbling co-worker from 10 feet away doesn’t mean you have a hearing loss but, if “what?” is becoming the most commonly used word in your vocabulary, it could mean you aren’t getting the sound signals you need to process speech correctly. You may have hearing loss.
- You misunderstand what people say. Misunderstanding people can cause awkward situations. If your life is feeling like a farce of miscommunication it may stem from the beginnings of high frequency hearing loss that affect our ability to discern the sounds of speech.
- You have trouble hearing children and people with high pitched voices. Hearing loss within a specific range is common, and with age, you’re more likely to experience hearing loss in the high frequencies. People with higher pitched voices, such as children, may be harder to hear, while people with deeper voices are easier to understand.
- You become annoyed and frustrated during conversation.It’s easy to get frustrated and annoyed at those around you when you cannot understand what they’re saying. The feeling of frustration are normal and understandable since communication is an important part of life. If you’re being honest with yourself, you may recognize that you are not actually annoyed at those speaking to you, but more so with a hearing loss you’re beginning to notice.
These problems can be addressed with proper treatment from a hearing health professional. The sooner you find a solution, the less time you’ll spend isolated, disconnected, and at risk for other health concerns. Annual hearing exams can give you peace of mind that you’re doing everything you possibly can to take care of your hearing health and maintain your quality of life. Don’t let untreated hearing loss deter you from having a healthy and happy life, but call us today to schedule a hearing test.